SAN ANTONIO --The odds were all in the favor of the San Antonio Spurs tonight. Back at home where they've won 18 straight home games, best record in the NBA and facing the youthful Phoenix Suns coming in with 19 wins in the tough Western Conference.
Youth or no youth, Phoenix served notice that they are on the rise. Jermaine O'Neal had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 105-101 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center.
The loss snapped the Spurs' 18-game home win streak and it was Phoenix's first win in San Antonio since 2008.Phoenix (20-39), down by as many as 11 points in the second half, tied it at 100-100 on the final play of regulation on Wesley Johnson's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"I got open and he (Jermaine O'Neal) threw a perfect pass. I just turned and let it go." said Johnson on his clutch 3-pointer.
In overtime, Marcin Gortat had a tip-in to put the Suns up 102-101 with 1:07 remaining. Then O'Neal grabbed a rebound and put it back in with nine seconds left to put Phoenix up 104-100, giving the Suns enough cushion for the win.
San Antonio struggled in the overtime period, going 0 of 10 from the field. The only point the Spurs scored was on a free throw by Tony Parker.
It was the second overtime win for the Suns in as many nights after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 84-83 on Tuesday.
"Stopping the best team in the NBA, on their court, off a back-to-back, off an overtime game. Lot of young teams would say, 'You know what? We're not going to fight back in the second half. We're going to lay down, because we're supposed to lose.' said O'Neal, a 16-year NBA veteran and elder statesmen on the Suns' persistence. "I'm really proud of the guys."
Home court has been friendly to the Spurs, who are 22-3 at home and had not lost since falling 92-87 to the L.A. Clippers on Nov. 19.
The Spurs returned to San Antonio from their 11th annual rodeo road trip with the best record in the NBA but struggled to shake the Suns, whom they defeated on Sunday night 97-87.
"We are all very upset especially after the performance we had on the road," Manu Ginobili said. "Coming back home and losing the first one is hard, but it happens. We got relaxed after such a long road trip but this is what happens in the NBA when you do not play your best."
They were led by Parker, who had 22 points and eight assists. Tim Duncan had 19 points and 11 rebounds while Kawhi Leonard and DuJuan Blair each scored 15 points and Ginobili had 10 as San Antonio dropped to 45-14.
"It was a weird rhythm the whole night and we had a chance to win it at the end," said Parker, who was honored before the game for being named NBA Player of the Month in January. "It just didn't happen."
Phoenix, one of the worst offensive teams in the league, came out strong, shooting 47 percent in the first half.
Goran Dragic had 13 points and 13 assists. Luis Scola had 15 points, Marcus Morris 11 and Gortat added 15 rebounds.
Leonard's three-point play to end the first half put San Antonio on top 52-45. Leonard and Duncan each had 11 points to pace the Spurs in the first half.
The Suns were paced by Dragic, who had 11 points and nine assists by the half.
NOTES: Spurs guard Stephen Jackson sprained his right ankle in the first half and did not return to the game. ... San Antonio returned from its 11th annual rodeo road trip, where it went 7-2. The Spurs' nine straight road games, with the All Star Game in between, were played over 16 days and totaled 8,056 miles. ... Spurs guard Gary Neal did not play. The second-year guard is nursing a left calf injury that has lingered all season. ... Suns general manager Lance Blanks got his start in the NBA with the San Antonio front office. He spent five years with the Spurs, working up to director of scouting. ... The last time Phoenix defeated the Spurs in San Antonio was Oct. 29, 2008, which was the debut of then-coach Terry Porter. ... San Antonio owns the all-time series over Phoenix 77-73. ... Duncan grabbed his 13,000 career rebound. Duncan, in his 13th season, is 15th on NBA career rebounding list... A moment of silence was held before the game in honor of Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss, who passed away last week.