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
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
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
”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
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.