The Phoenix Suns defeated the weakened San Antonio Spurs 115-94 on Tuesday night to secure a postseason berth behind 27 points from Devin Booker.
The Suns (44-35) have now won six straight games, which is the NBA’s best active winning run. Phoenix would guarantee itself the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in the first round with one more win in the remaining three games.
Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 11 boards, and Chris Paul tallied 22 points. In the second half, when the Spurs were down by 31 points after the first quarter, Torrey Craig, a substitute, played especially well, contributing 15 points and 10 boards in addition to 18 points.
Craig stated, “I just wanted to enter and bring a spark.” We sometimes believe that teams might fold when we have a large advantage because of the players we have. But teams make surges because it’s the NBA.
When Durant is starting for the Suns, including the last four contests after he returned from a foot injury, they are 7-0. His influence has given Paul, who was 9 of 14 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point range, more chances to score.
Suns coach Monty Williams said, “I never imagined I’d have to instruct a Hall of Fame star to shoot the ball. “They all want him to shoot,” Kevin and Book are in a rage.
With 21 points, Malaki Branham topped the Spurs. Sandro Mamukelashvili and Keita Bates-Diop each had 13, while Tre Jones tallied 20 points.
Only 10 men were suited for the Spurs (20-59). They were without Keldon Johnson (right foot injury) and Devin Vassell, their leading two scores. (left knee). Romeo Langford, Zach Collins, and Jeremy Sochan were all sidelined for San Antonio due to injuries as well. (left adductor).
Additionally, Doug McDermott appeared to have a foot issue during his six minutes of action on Tuesday. In addition to starting Devonte’ Graham being assisted to the dressing room late in the game after injuring his knee, Dominick Barlow was injured in a clash in the fourth quarter.
Gregg Popovich, the coach of the Spurs, said, “Obviously it was going to be a tough, tough night for them, but their competitiveness was great.” “I believe we felt threatened.” (in the first quarter). After that, we played against a very strong basketball squad in a very challenging manner and performed fairly well.
San Antonio, which had been allowing 122.8 points per game, came into the contest with the worst offensive defence. Phoenix started off strong, hitting 63% in the opening frame to take a 42-25 advantage. The Suns passed the 40 points they scored against Chicago on March 3 to score the most points in the first quarter this year.
At the break, Phoenix was ahead 69-51. Paul led the Suns with 18 points at the break after making 7 of his 8 attempts, while Booker added 14 points, all in the first quarter. The Spurs closed the gap to nine points in the third quarter, but Phoenix regained the lead 97-76 at the time.
Williams not only taught under Popovich but also played for him while with the Spurs.
The Suns coach said before the contest, “I just appreciate seeing him and I’m thankful for the experience I have with him. I’m appreciative of the opportunity to introduce Gregg Popovich to individuals outside of the world of basketball.
Despite not liking Tuesday’s outcome, Popovich still values what Williams and the Suns have accomplished.
Williams will always teach, according to Popovich, regardless of who is on the pitch. He will act in the same manner and uphold the same norms and obligations. When required, punch them in the butt, wrap an arm around them, and show them some affection. He is a decent guy.
Durant as well
Popovich watched Durant from the same bench as the Olympic gold-medal winning squad in 2021.
He was excellent. I adore him,” declared Popovich. “How can you prevent him? Not at all. You are powerless to halt him. Now that you can double-team him, he will give it up because he is intelligent. No matter what occurs, they will work out what to do.