Suns remain perfect at home with win over Spurs
Stoudemire had 28 points and 14 rebounds and Nash had 25 points and 13 assists as the Suns broke a three-game skid to San Antonio with a 116-104 victory Tuesday night, improving to 9-0 at home to remain the NBA’s only unbeaten team at home this season.
Dragic had a career-high 18 points while making 7 of 9 field-goal attempts, including a career-high 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
Dragic’s 3-pointer with 6:07 remaining gave the Suns (17-9) a 100-90 lead, and the Spurs, who cut a 20-point third-quarter deficit to one in the first minute of the fourth quarter, never were closer than nine again.
“My coach from Serbia has been in town for the last four days, and we worked a lot on my shot,” Dragic said. “Before when I shot, my arch was not so high. Today it felt great. The arch was higher.”
Duncan had a season-high 34 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio (12-10), and Roger Mason(notes) had a season-high 19 points, including a season-high five 3-pointers. Starters Richard Jefferson(notes) and Tony Parker(notes) and sixth man Manu Ginobili(notes) had a combined 26 points on 8-of-26 shooting.
“I thought Phoenix did a great job coming out aggressively and keeping the aggressiveness for 48 minutes. We had too many pathetic games from too many people. You can’t do that against a team like Phoenix,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
Stoudemire had his seventh double-double of the season.
“I was definitely in attack mode tonight, bringing that energy that we needed,” Stoudemire said. “I think we collectively brought great energy.”
The Suns made 11 of 16 3-point attempts while shooting 52 percent from the field.
Phoenix has scored 100 points or more in its last 35 home games, a streak that began after San Antonio won at U.S. Airways, 91-90, on Dec. 25, 2008, when Mason hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer after entering for the first time with 4.3 seconds to play.
“It’s a real good win against a real, real solid team. You look at their record now. Come back to me in April. They won’t be two games over .500 then,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “It’s always fun playing against them. They are such a smart team and have such a high basketball IQ. They hung around until they made a run. I thought we won the game with our defense.”
The Suns outrebounded San Antonio, 47-42, and limited the Spurs to 46.5 percent shooting from the field.
Phoenix led by as many as 18 points twice, the last when Nash made a 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Suns a 63-45 lead with 1:13 remaining. Dragic acquired from San Antonio in a 2008 draft-day deal, had three 3-pointers and 11 points in the first half.
Grant Hill(notes) gave Phoenix its biggest lead, 76-56, on a basket with 8:38 left in the third quarter. San Antonio cut it to 89-84 at the end of third quarter, finishing on a 28-13 run that included three 3-pointers by Mason and eight points by Duncan.
“Against a great team like Phoenix, one half is never enough,” said Ginobili, who had seven points. “We started soft. They are a high-scoring team, and if you make mistakes, they punish you. We didn’t expect Dragic to make four 3s. We want Steve and Amare to score on us, and nobody else. It’s a good lesson.”
NOTES: Nash had his fourth straight 20-point game and drew four offensive fouls. … Suns guard Jason Richardson(notes), playing with his right wrist taped after bruising it in a 105-99 loss at Denver on Saturday, started but missed his first three shots in the first quarter and did not play in the second. Richardson’s first basket of the game was a 3-pointer with 8:38 remaining in the third quarter, and he finished with three points in 23 minutes. Muhammad Ali had a court-side seat. Ali has a home in the Phoenix area. Phoenix center Louis Amundson(notes) suffered a mild left ankle injury in the first half and did not return. He had four points and a blocked shot in seven minutes.