Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 1/16/12
99

To keep their perfect home record intact against the Phoenix Suns, the San Antonio Spurs looked to the player that has done the most damage to the Suns over the last decade.

In a turn back the clock night, Duncan lead the Spurs with 24 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in the Spurs 102-91 victory.

24 points is the largest point total Duncan has finished a game with since he scored 28 against Denver last December. It was also enough for Duncan to move past Gary Payton into 26th place on the all-time NBA scoring list.

"I always think he has it, even on the nights he doesn't have it," Spurs forward Richard Jefferson said. "I think it's amazing how he gets all of those rebounds, blocks, and is just good on defense. He's always doing a lot of things that probably never show up in the stat sheet."

Duncan and the Spurs started slow in the first quarter, seeing the Suns score four straight points before DeJuan Blair got them on the board for the first time with 9:30 remaining in the opening quarter.

Blair's turnaround jumper kickstarted the Spurs on a 14-2 run, punctuated by a Duncan runner to beat the shot clock. That Blair-Duncan combination made up for 18 of the Spurs 30 first quarter points.

When Duncan and Blair headed to the bench at the start of the second quarter, Tiago Splitter took over, contributing eight second quarter points on a pair of dunks, a layup and two free throws in just over six minutes.

"Splitter has played good for them in the past," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "I've watched four or five of their games and what has happened is that when the second unit is in, the offense really goes through him."

"He's played pro basketball half his life so it's not anything unusual," Gentry said.

While Marcin Gortat matched Splitter's eight points, the Spurs kept the lead and got scoring help from several players while the Suns kept drawing iron.

The Spurs kept chipping away in the second quarter, with Duncan and Tony Parker leading the way against Gortat and Steve Nash.

The Suns chipped away at the Spurs' early 18-point second half lead by going on two third quarter rallies, but the Spurs still had a comfortable 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

With Gary Neal suffering a right quad strain in the second quarter, Popovich called on rookie Cory Joseph, who played some heavy fourth quarter minutes backing up Parker.

"Well, obviously you know because I left him out there for quite a while," Popovich said about his confidence level with Joseph. "He's a young, energetic player who is willing to stick his nose in. For a sophomore in college, I think he's pretty special."

Joseph spent a majority of his time in the fourth quarter alongside Danny Green and Leonard, but it was Duncan who lead the Spurs with seven fourth quarter points.

While the Suns fought back and got within five points with five minutes remaining, the Spurs were able to get second and third scoring chances off of offensive rebounds to prevent Suns scoring opportunities.

Gortat lead the Suns with 24 points and 15 rebounds, both career highs, but after the game, Gortat praised the player who defended him most of the night.

"Obviously playing against Tim Duncan is a huge challenge. He's one of the best post guys currently in the NBA if not the best," Gortat said. "It's always a pleasure to play against him and it's always great to compete against him."

"I'm always learning something new from each game I play against him," Gortat continued.

With the win, the Spurs are now 9-0 at home and are 6-2 without Manu Ginobili.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

Russell Wilson contract $60 million guaranteed? Not so fast

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker