Postgame Central: Suns vs. Spurs - March 27, 2012
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Suns Downed by Spurs
By Mike Tulumello, for NBA.com
THE FACTS: The San Antonio Spurs are trying to integrate some new players. Already, those new players are acquiring the Spurs' old habits: They win.
The visiting Spurs (34-14) pulled away from the Phoenix Suns in the fourth quarter and won their fifth straight, 107-100.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 26 points and 11 boards. Tony Parker had 24 points, seven assists, four rebounds and just two turnovers.
The Suns (25-25) suffered a crushing loss in their run for a playoff berth. They are now two games behind Utah and Denver (27-23), who are Nos. 7 and 8 in the West.
They were led by Shannon Brown's career-high 32 points. Marcin Gortat added 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Recent acquisitions Boris Diaw (3-for-4 for six points, plus four assists and two steals in 18 minutes) and Patty Mills (scoreless in four minutes) made their Spurs' debuts. Stephen Jackson, another new Spur, rested.
"We're trying to work in two or three guys and figure out who should be playing," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
QUOTABLE: "Tony is probably playing like an MVP more than at any time since he's been in the league. People should start talking about him more for the MVP."
-- Suns coach Alvin Gentry on Parker
THE STAT: The Spurs' bench outscored the Suns' reserves 34-22. The Suns' bench lacked Brown, who started in place of the Suns' defensive specialist, Grant Hill, who sat out with a sore knee.
TURNING POINT: The Spurs, using a mix of starters and reserves, were too much for the Suns' bench early in the fourth quarter. They stretched an 84-83 lead heading into the final quarter to 96-87. Then, coming out of a timeout, Steve Nash and Channing Frye turned it over, Parker hit a 10-footer, then Kawhi Leonard nailed a 3-pointer to seal it.
QUOTABLE II: "There's going to be a very robust discussion about goaltending."
-- NBA commissioner David Stern, suggesting increased use of instant replay, at a pre-game news conference. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver said of the likely heavier use of replay, "Over time, it's inevitable, given the advances in technology."
HOT: The Suns' Brown had a career night: He shot 11-for-18, including 5-for-10 on 3-pointers, for 32 points.
NOT: The Suns' Jared Dudley, who had been enjoying the highest scoring month of his career (15.7 points) took only four shots and finished with only two points.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: In his last two games, the Brown has averaged 24.0 points.
ROOKIE WATCH: For the Spurs, Leonard had 14 points and seven rebounds. For the Suns, Markieff Morris failed to score in seven minutes.
NOTABLE: The Spurs are 12-2 in their last 14 road games after a 2-8 start away from home.
UP NEXT: For the Spurs, Wednesday @ Sacramento, Saturday vs. Indiana and Tuesday @ Cleveland. For the Suns, Wednesday @ L.A. Clippers, Sunday vs. New Orleans and Tuesday @ Sacramento.
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