Spurs 105, Suns 76
SAN ANTONIO (AP)—Tim Duncan’s 50th double-double of the season might have been his easiest one.
The Spurs took control early against the lowly Suns, opening the game with a 18-5 run. San Antonio shot 57 percent and grabbed 16 rebounds en route to a 31-13 lead after one quarter.
“It’s a confidence builder,” Spurs coach Greg Popovich said. “Our assist to turnover ratio was good, we had a low number of turnovers and that’s important. Phoenix didn’t have enough energy. It worked out well.”
The defending champion Spurs remained 1 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the Midwest Division title. The Timberwolves beat the Clippers 98-82.
Reserve Malik Rose, who played 23 minutes, was impressed that the Spurs didn’t let up during the blowout.
“It was great from top to bottom, but from a mental standpoint we did a good job as far as maintaining the focus,” Rose said. “We always look at the loss column and try to catch those guys (Minnesota), but even if we don’t, we want to be playing the best basketball possible.”
Hedo Turkoglu had 14 points and Tony Parker and Jason Hart each added 12 for the Spurs, who gave their starters plenty of rest. Parker played 27 minutes, the most among the starters, while 42-year-old backup center Kevin Willis saw 17 minutes of action. Willis brought the crowd to its feet with a thunderous reverse dunk on breakaway midway through the fourth quarter.
“This was just a night where everything fell right and it all started with defense,” Willis said. “We came out and played with that defense that opened up a lot of things for us.”
Amare Stoudemire led the Phoenix with 20 points but shot just 8-of-19 from the field, including 1-of-6 to start the game. Joe Johnson added 15 for the Suns, who wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 3-2 mark.
Shawn Marion, who was averaging 19 points and mine rebounds, was held to just six points and four rebounds in 33 minutes and made no excuses for the Suns’ poor play.
“You can call it what you want, they just beat us,” Marion said. “They jumped on us from the outset and that was it. … We were never in the game.”
San Antonio, which led by as many as 38, kept up a torrid pace throughout the second half. Despite building a 60-35 halftime lead, the Spurs did not let up and opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run including six points byTurkoglu.
San Antonio had not swept Phoenix in the regular season since the 1989-90 campaign. … The Spurs won their eighth straight home game. … The 29-point margin of victory was the second-largest ever against Phoenix, onepoint shy of a 30-point margin in 1980.