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Spurs 108, Suns 99

The SportsXchange

SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker carried the Spurs in the fourth quarter Saturday, leading San Antonio to a 108-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns at the AT&T Center.

Parker scored 31 for San Antonio, making 13 of 17 shots. He had 11 points, five assists and two steals in the fourth quarter, when the Spurs outscored Phoenix 27-17.

The Spurs (36-11) earned their 16th consecutive home win, their eighth victory in a row overall.

While it was Parker who finished the game, Manu Ginobili (20 points) helped spark the run. With San Antonio trailing 82-77 near the end of the third, Shannon Brown swatted Ginobili across the face and was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul. Ginobili hit four free throws to close the third quarter, then sank a 3-pointer to tie the game at 84 at the beginning of the fourth.

Michael Beasley led the Suns (15-29) with 25 points, and Jared Dudley added 23. Phoenix's P.J. Tucker finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Goran Dragic had nine points and 10 assists.

Both teams were playing with a new coach on the bench for the third consecutive game. The Suns replaced Alvin Gentry with interim coach Lindsey Hunter, who opened his interim term with two consecutive victories, including one over the Clippers. The Spurs were guided by Mike Budenholzer while Gregg Popovich is at home recovering from an illness.

San Antonio improved to 3-0 in Popovich's absence.

NOTES: Spurs forward Tim Duncan missed the game due to an ailing knee. The timetable for his return is unknown. ... Phoenix's Jermaine O'Neal missed his third game because of "personal medical reasons." ... Channing Frye has yet to play this season for the Suns because of an enlarged heart. His status for the rest of the season is unknown. ... Last season, the Spurs swept the Suns in four regular-season games. ... The Suns beat San Antonio 137-91 in April 1989, which remains the worst loss in Spurs history. ... A large contingent of former Spurs front-office personnel has branched out to other franchises. Lance Blanks, former director of scouting for the Spurs, is the Suns' GM. ... Lindsey Hunter, who replaced Alvin Gentry as Suns coach last week, joked about his last memory of being in the AT&T Center. "It wasn't a good memory, I'll tell you that." Asked what game that was, Hunter snapped, "The finals, man!" That would be the 2007 Finals when the Spurs beat the Pistons in seven games.
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