DeRozan, Aldridge help Spurs blow out Suns 120-90
PHOENIX (AP) — DeMar DeRozan and coach Gregg Popovich had a talk before Wednesday night's game about DeRozan's playing time this season.
DeRozan scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half, LaMarcus Aldridge added 24 points and the Spurs routed the Suns for their third straight victory. DeRozan and Aldridge, Nos. 1 and 2 in the NBA in minutes per game going in, sat out the entire fourth quarter with the Spurs comfortably ahead.
"That was big," said DeRozan, who was averaging 38.9 minutes per game. "That was one thing that was on my mind today. To go out there and do what we're supposed to do so we'd be able to rest."
The Spurs led by 31 during the second quarter en route to a fifth straight win over Phoenix. Aldridge scored 16 points in the third. He and DeRozan combined to make 20 of 25 shots.
"It's always nice to get some rest," Aldridge said. "I thought guys came in focused from the beginning. It's always nice when your shots go in. DeMar started out hot and I got it going in the third, and that always makes it easy for us."
The Suns have lost six straight and joined the Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards at 1-6, tied for the NBA's worst. T.J. Warren, in his first start of the season, led Phoenix with 21 points. Suns rookie Mikal Bridges added a career-best 16 points.
"The final score is basically saying a lot where we're at as a team," Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said.
The Spurs closed out the first quarter on a 15-2 run after the game was tied at 13. San Antonio went up 40-22 on DeRozan's fastbreak dunk with 7:34 left in the first half.
DeRozan made 8 of 10 shots in the first half, many on drives to the basket.
The Spurs made 24 of 41 shots in the first half and turned the game into a blowout with the Suns struggling on the offensive end. San Antonio stayed hot, making 55.4 percent of its shots.
Marco Belinelli's fadeaway 3-pointer with 2:12 left in the first half made the score 60-29. The Spurs led by 32 points during the fourth quarter.
The Suns scored the final 10 points of the first half to trail by 21 at the break.
"We're going to come back and we're going to learn and watch some film and get better," Bridges said. "Just playing as a team, going out there and just fighting."
Spurs: San Antonio will be back in Phoenix in two weeks for the second meeting of the season between the two teams. ... DeRozan has led the Spurs in scoring in six of their seven games. ... F Rudy Gay came up hobbling after missing a layup late in the third quarter, but shook it off and remained in the game.
Suns: Phoenix played its third straight game without star guard Devin Booker, who is still dealing with a hamstring strain. ... G Isaiah Canaan (left ankle strain) was held out. ... G Josh Jackson played despite a bruised left toe. ... The Suns are 8-10 on Halloween.
Aldridge inadvertently tipped up a pass from DeRozan, and the ball dropped into the net for two points with 8:56 left in the third quarter. The two shared a smile as they headed back on defense.
YOUNG SUNS RUNNING POINT
With Canaan out, the Suns began the game with rookie Elie Okobo at point guard making his first career start. Backing him up was another rookie, De'Anthony Melton, who had been inactive for the past three games. Melton played a season high 20 minutes.
Spurs: Host the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.
Suns: Host the Toronto Raptors on Friday.