Ginobili, Spurs snap Suns’ 5-game winning streak

San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili was an irritant for Phoenix long

before any of the current Suns arrived in the desert.

He did it again on Wednesday night.

The 36-year-old Ginobili scored 11 of his 24 points in the final

four-plus minutes, and the Spurs snapped the Suns’ five-game

winning streak with a 108-101 victory.

Phoenix’s Channing Frye said he’s seen Ginobili do this sort of

thing ”a trillion times.”

”It’s like a bad nightmare,” he said. ”He’s absolutely

amazing. He just does a good job of continuing to push. I thought

he was getting tired there at the end. Obviously, I was

wrong.”

Tim Duncan added 17 points and 13 rebounds and Kawhi Leonard

scored 14 for the Spurs, who played without point guard Tony Parker

after he bruised a shin in Monday night’s loss to the Clippers in

Los Angeles.

Frye scored 15 of his 22 points in the first quarter. Goran

Dragic had 18 points and Eric Bledsoe 15, but the two Phoenix

guards were a combined 12 of 33 from the field. Miles Plumlee added

13 points and 13 rebounds.

Led by Ginobili, the Spurs outscored the Suns 15-6 over the

final 4:11 after Phoenix used a 10-0 run to take a 95-93 lead on

Plumlee’s rebound basket with 5:10 to go.

”These guys are a good team,” Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek

said, praising San Antonio’s resiliency. ”It doesn’t matter if

guys are out of the lineup.”

Ginobili had a tying tip-in, and then made a 3-pointer to put

San Antonio ahead for good at 98-95 with 2:58 to play.

San Antonio put it out of reach when Ginobili sank a 10-footer

from the baseline, and then stole the ball at the other end and

made two free throws to make it 104-97 with 47.5 seconds

remaining.

”Down the stretch I thought we did look like a veteran team,”

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

Ginobili, who also had seven assists, six rebounds and five

turnovers, gave himself a so-so grade.

”I played pretty well,” he said. ”I turned the ball over too

much but in general the minutes I played I scored well and I moved

the ball. I think I did OK. I’m very happy that I helped the team

win because we are in a tough stretch. We lost the last one, we

have a tough back-to-back without Tony and then Oklahoma

City.”

Parker will miss Thursday night’s game at Golden State and it’s

uncertain whether he will be able to play when the Spurs host the

Thunder on Saturday.

Leonard’s 3-pointer gave San Antonio its first lead at 46-45.

There were five lead changes the rest of the first half, with San

Antonio up 59-58 at the break.

With 4 seconds left in the third, Dragic was fouled while

heaving a shot from just past midcourt and Popovich drew a

technical complaining about the call. That gave Dragic four free

throws. He made three to cut San Antonio’s lead to 87-81 entering

the fourth quarter.

Consecutive baskets by Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills put San

Antonio ahead 93-85 with 8:30 to go before Markieff Morris’

three-point play ignited the Suns’ 10-0 run.

”We know that we can play well against good teams,” Dragic

said. ”We are a young team and we have to learn a lot, especially

in these types of games where, in the last three or four minutes,

you have to close out the game, and I think we can get there.”

NOTES: Parker has returned to San Antonio for treatment. … San

Antonio has not lost two in a row this season. … Popovich is the

only NBA coach whose tenure dates to Hornacek’s playing days. …

Bledsoe was 1-for-8 shooting in the fourth quarter. … Entering

the game, Duncan’s career minutes (42,064) were 37 more than the 13

players on Phoenix’s active roster combined. … Phoenix has not

won six in a row in three years.