Thomas gets hot in fourth to spark Suns in win over Spurs
Isaiah Thomas scored 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, rallying Phoenix with a relentless series of driving layups, and the Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs 94-89 on Friday night.
Phoenix took its first lead when Thomas’ layup made it 88-87 with 3:34 to play. It was part of a 10-0 run that put the Suns up 92-87 on Markieff Morris’ dunk with 1:09 left.
Manu Ginobili made two of three free throws with 59.8 seconds left to cut the lead to 92-89. Then San Antonio had a chance to tie at the finish.
But, with 6.5 seconds remaining, Boris Diaw couldn’t get the ball inbounds and was called for a five-second violation, a call that left San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich livid .
Tony Parker scored 19 for the Spurs, but just three in the fourth quarter. Tim Duncan added 16, none in the final quarter.
Ginobili’s free throws were San Antonio’s only points in the final 5:09 as the Suns wore down the reigning NBA champions with their pressure offense.
The Spurs’ last field goal, a 3-pointer by Austin Daye, put San Antonio ahead 87-82 with 5:09 to go.
Morris added 20 for the Suns. Alex Len had 10 points and 11 rebounds, both career highs. Eric Bledsoe, on a miserable shooting night, sealed the win with two free throws and had 12 points.
Suns coach Jeff Hornacek had three point guards on the floor the final 4:35.
The Spurs took a quick 15-point lead as Phoenix shot 5-for-23 (22 percent) in the first quarter, missing 10 in a row before Len’s tip-in with two seconds to play.
But Phoenix outscored the Spurs 19-6 to start the second quarter, tying it at 30-30 when Len took a lob pass from Bledsoe for a reverse stuff with 6:09 left in the half.
But Parker hit a 3-pointer, then Duncan scored twice and San Antonio led at the break 45-36.
Phoenix cut it to two three times late in the third quarter. The Spurs led 71-67 entering the fourth.
Spurs: Daye started for the Spurs after not playing at all in the opener. Matt Bonner started the opener but didn’t play on Friday. … Kahwi Leonard was back in the lineup after missing the opener with an eye infection. … San Antonio opened the season 2-0 for the fourth year in a row.
Suns: After making 16 of 32 3-pointers in the rout of the Lakers in its opener, Phoenix shot 2-of-18 on 3s against the Spurs. … The Suns again were without forward P.J. Tucker, who is serving a three-game suspension to start the season because of his offseason DUI arrest.
Spurs: Don’t play until Thursday, when they are home against Atlanta.
Suns: At Utah Sunday night.