The Suns basically beat down the Spurs 106-85 on a sold out Night. Each side was still without their starting point guard: Bledsoe for Suns and Parker for Spurs.Spurs were also without Leonard. The Suns defense was huge in tonight’s win; allowing a season low of only 35 first half points for the Spurs. Both Frye (17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals) and Green (13 points and 6 rebounds) had nice games, but the Suns bench made all the difference. 2 for 21 three-point shooting from the Spurs helped as well.
Ish Smith really stepped it up after Goran Dragic (8 points and 5 assists) was shaken up after being tripped byManu Ginobli. Smith basically ran the Spurs into the ground especially in the second quarter, where he led the Suns on an amazing 19-0 run. Suns only gave up 12 points in this quarter as well due to some amazing defense and a very fast paced offense. The Spurs were simply not able to keep up. It didn’t help that back end of a very long road trip. This was the Spurs 9th and final game in this road trip, and the Suns took advantage of this, led by a huge night by the bench. Markieff put up 21 points on 8 for 10 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and three steals while his brother, Marcus, put up 13 points. Smith had a career high and put up 15 points on 7 for 9 shooting (all in the paint), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocked shots. We saw some nice playtime from Archie Goodwin who is fresh off his d-league assignment. Goodwin put up 9 points in 14 minutes off the bench. The Suns have won 11 of their last 15, including three straight.
Beating the Spurs is great but blowing them out is better. With this win, the Suns move to 33-21 on the season and are sitting 6th place in the West. Next up, they face the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are 3.5 games ahead of the Suns in the standings and may be without their superstarJames Harden. Harden hyperextended his right elbow during the Rocket’s loss to the Warriors. The injuryoccurred after an accidental collision with his teammate, Jeremy Lin. As of now, Harden is listed as probable for Sunday’s game. He was scheduled to get an MRI in Phoenix .
John Richard (senior feature writer)