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Phoenix at San Antonio

Spurs clinch league's best record, defeat Suns

CBSSports.com wire reports

SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs have said their goal this season was not to have the league's best record.

But once it was in sight, they went for it.

Danny Green had a career-high 33 points and the San Antonio Spurs rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat the Phoenix Suns 112-104 on Friday and clinch home-court throughout the playoffs.

"It's a big plus," Green said. "It's not something we were focused on, but we know it will help us. We'll be at home for most of the playoffs. The biggest thing for us is to stay healthy and to build chemistry. Winning games in the process helps and we get home-court advantage. That's just the extra bonus for us."

Eric Bledsoe had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to lead Phoenix (47-32), which fell into a tie with Memphis for the West's eighth seed.

Kawhi Leonard scored 18 points for the Spurs and Tony Parker added 18 points and three assists in his return from a two-game absence due to a back injury.

Green was 7 for 10 on 3-pointers in pushing San Antonio (62-18) to victory without Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who both sat out the second game of a back-to-back for rest.

It appeared the remaining Spurs were taking the night off, too, as the Suns ran past them early.

Phoenix took a 35-14 lead with 2 minutes left in the first quarter and was shooting 60 percent from the field midway through the second quarter.

"[The Spurs] could have said, 'Oh, it's tough, three [games] in four nights, back-to-back, and we're just going to take a blow tonight.'"

San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "But they didn't do it. Those guys have a lot of pride. I think some of the assistant coaches got on them; 'cause you know I didn't, I just kind of watched a little bit.'"

Popovich was able to jest about his demeanor, but the mood was somber in the Suns' locker room.

Phoenix faces the seventh-seeded Mavericks in Dallas on Saturday night before hosting the Grizzlies on Monday and playing at Sacramento on Wednesday.

The Suns likely must win out for any chance to reach the postseason.

"We don't have much choice; our season is on the line," Bledsoe said.

Making matters worse is Phoenix appeared to have Friday's game well in hand until it was outscored 37-19 in the third quarter.

"They do what they always do, they lock in in the second half," Bledsoe said. "When they're down, they don't panic. We had too many good shots and good looks early. We thought we were going to come in the second half and it was going to be easy like the first half and we just weren't as aggressive or locked in."

After a sluggish start, Parker took over offensively to spark a 29-14 run to close the third quarter.

Parker hit a 15-foot jumper, a 3-foot driving jumper and an 18-footer before Green hit a 3-pointer to pull San Antonio within 72-68 with 6:45 left in third.

"I was just trying to be aggressive," Parker said. "We were down 13; so I just tried to bring some energy to the team. It was a back-to-back for everybody. And I had four or five days off, so I was just trying to bring energy."

Marco Belinelli's 19-foot jumper put San Antonio up 79-78, its first lead since leading 9-8 with 8 minutes left in the first quarter.

Phoenix regained the lead in the fourth, taking a 98-97 advantage on Channing Frye's 3 with 4:25 remaining but Leonard and Belinelli followed with 3s to give San Antonio a lead it didn't relinquished.

"They're a good team, it doesn't matter who they put out there, they play hard," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "You know other guys want to step up and we let guys get going. Danny Green, we couldn't stop him. Tony Parker in the third was great. They played better than we did."


NBA commissioner Adam Silver attended the game after sitting in on the Spurs' quarterly meeting. It was Silver's first game in San Antonio since taking over as commissioner Feb. 1 when David Stern retired. Suns G Goran Dragic (ankle) missed the game, but Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek expects him to play Saturday in Dallas. ... Phoenix scored 37 points in the first quarter, coming within 3 points of matching the most points San Antonio has allowed in the quarter set by Houston on Dec. 25.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Tony Parker and the Spurs just keep rolling along, clinching the NBA's best record with a win over the Suns.  (USATSI)
Tony Parker and the Spurs just keep rolling along, clinching the NBA's best record with a win over the Suns. (USATSI)
Phoenix (47-32)37251923104
San Antonio (61-18) «24253726112
PHO:E. Bledsoe 30 Pts
PHO:E. Bledsoe 11 Reb
PHO:E. Bledsoe 9 Ast
SA:D. Green 33 Pts
SA:J. Ayres 10 Reb
SA:B. Diaw 6 Ast
Players of the Game
PhoenixSan Antonio

Eric Bledsoe

Danny Green

Related Video

P. Tucker, SF371-80-05223
E. Bledsoe, PG3711-166-8119230
G. Green, SG369-195-533327
C. Frye, C345-92-261113
M. Plumlee, C253-60-09026
M. Morris, PF288-144-470320
M. Morris, PF221-70-03133
I. Smith, PG191-30-03212
A. Len, C20-00-01000
A. Goodwin, SG10-00-00000
L. Barbosa, SGDid Not Play
E. Okafor, CDid Not Play
S. Randolph, PFDid Not Play
G. Dragic, PGDid Not Play
D. Christmas, SGDid Not Play
Totals 39-8217-19481817104
San Antonio
D. Green, SF3812-172-442133
K. Leonard, SF347-142-354118
T. Parker, PG249-180-013018
T. Splitter, C162-51-17215
A. Daye, SF141-70-01142
B. Diaw, PF344-122-286011
M. Belinelli, SG283-114-421212
P. Mills, PG283-82-24439
J. Ayres, PF202-30-010124
A. Baynes, PF40-10-00010
D. James, SF10-00-00000
C. Joseph, PG10-00-00000
T. Duncan, PFDid Not Play
M. Ginobili, SGDid Not Play
M. Bonner, PFDid Not Play
Totals 43-9613-16422415112
Other Games
Wash 96 Final
Orl 86
NY 108 Final
Tor 100
Char 103 Final
Bos 106
Ind 86 Final
Miami 98
Atl 93 Final
Brook 88
Det 98 Final
Chi 106
Hou 110 Final
Min 112
NO 94 Final
OKC 116
Phi 95 Final
Mem 117
Cle 116 Final
Mil 119
Port 111 Final
Utah 99
GS 112 Final
LAL 95