Spurs 97, Suns 87

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- At the end of a long road odyssey and without their leading scorer, the San Antonio Spurs just keep rolling along.
Patty Mills and Kawhi Leonard led six Spurs in double figures with 16 points each and San Antonio shook off the loss of All-Star guard Tony Parker with little trouble and beat the Phoenix Suns 97-87 Sunday night.
Tiago Splitter added 14 points and Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobili had 12 each for San Antonio, which has beaten the Suns six straight times and in nine of the last 10 meetings. The Spurs finished their annual nine-game "rodeo" road trip at 7-2 and come home with the NBA's best record (45-13) and road record (23-11).
Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Suns, while Goran Dragic added 10 points and 11 assists -- his career-best fourth consecutive game with 10 or more assists
Parker missed his fourth game of the season with a right triceps contusion and Gary Neal also sat out with a tight left calf. But the rest of the Spurs had little trouble handing the Suns their 31st loss in their last 42 games.
Mills enjoys playing in Phoenix. He started in place of Parker in Phoenix last April 27 and scored a then-career-high 27 points in a San Antonio win.
The Suns fell behind 13-0 in Friday's 113-88 blowout loss to Boston but had a better start this time. Gortat had eight points and Dragic six assists as Phoenix took a 21-19 lead to the second quarter.
Then the Spurs took over. Forcing five Phoenix turnovers and three missed shots on one end in the first three minutes of the second quarter, a three-pointer by Stephen Jackson capped a run of 14 straight San Antonio points to give the Spurs a 33-21 lead. With 4:43 left in the quarter, Splitter completed a four-point play to give the Spurs 25 points in the quarter -- to match the 25 the Suns had in the game -- and a 19-point lead at 44-25.
NOTES: Popovich said he wishes Parker would have told him he was hurting during Friday's 107-101 overtime loss at Golden State. He wound up playing 40 minutes. "That was a little too much hero play," Popovich said. "He wasn't really forthcoming. We didn't realize until about halfway through the game when he didn't shoot any shots. Then we find out about his elbow. I wish I would have sat him in that game, but that's why we're definitely sitting him tonight." ... The Spurs entered the game with the best home record in the league (22-2) and the best road record (22-11) ... Once a high-scoring team, Phoenix came into the game having averaged 78.5 points in the last two home games, losses to Oklahoma City and Boston by a combined 53 points.

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