Wed, 23 Sep 2020

Suns warming as Spurs visit on a back-to-back

Field Level Media
20 Jan 2020, 13:55 GMT+10

The Phoenix Suns look to build on the momentum from a victory over one of the NBA's toughest teams when they host the up-and-down San Antonio Spurs on Monday.

The Suns held off Boston 123-119 on the road on Saturday, while San Antonio came back in the final minutes to beat visiting Miami 107-102on Sunday afternoon.

Phoenix got 39 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists from Devin Booker in its win. Booker hit two free throws with 4.8 seconds left to cement the victory.

"It's something I don't take for granted to have a guy that can get buckets like that," Phoenix coach Monty Williams said about Booker.

The Suns' starters accounted for 112 points, with Mikal Bridges scoring a career-high 26 points and hitting 6 of 8 3-pointers. Deandre Ayton added 26 points and 15 rebounds as Phoenix outrebounded Boston 52-39.

"We have been in these situations and we were just able to make plays," Williams said. "Some of their shots they have made we're like, 'What do you do about that?' Our guys played good defense."

The Celtics were without leading scorer Kemba Walker (knee) and Jaylen Brown (thumb), while Phoenix was missing rookie Cam Johnson (quad) as well as Kelly Oubre Jr. for a second straight game (concussion protocol). Johnson was listed as questionable on Sunday; with Oubre considered probable.

The Suns have won four of their past five games and are 7-4 in their past 11 games, matching how they started their first 11 games of the season.

"I'm happy with the position that we're in even after dropping some games I felt we should've won," Booker said. "We're still right there. We're giving ourselves a fighting chance."

San Antonio makes the quick flight and turnaround for the back end of a home-road back-to-back after LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points and DeMar DeRozan added 20 to pace a balanced attack to beat Miami, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process.

The Spurs made the most of their chances in the final minutes, after having lost their past two games when entering the fourth quarter with a lead.

"We held them to 18 (points) in the fourth quarter and that was huge," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

"We haven't shot the 3-ball very well the last couple of games. It was the defense in the fourth quarter (Sunday). A lot of people participated. A lot of good things out there. It was a good win against a quality team."

Patty Mills (18), Marco Belinelli (12) and Derrick White (11) rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Spurs. Mills hit 4 of 10 3-pointers. San Antonio made 12 of 33 attempts (36.4 percent) from beyond the arc.

The game was a special one for Mills, who was in the spotlight as the Spurs became the first NBA team to hold Indigenous People Night in homage to such cultures around the world. Mills, an Australian, has a mother who is Aboriginal and a father who is from the Torres Strait Islands.

"It's an important night, and it's really important to Patty but it's sort of double for him because of his history and his background," Popovich said. "He didn't play like he did because of that; he does that every night. His energy has been there his whole career. It's who he is."

The Spurs have won three straight games against Phoenix, including an overtime victory on Dec. 14 in Mexico City.

--Field Level Media

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