Spurs win fifth in a row, defeat Suns

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 28, 2012
Tony Parker scored eight points in a 10-0 San Antonio run early in the fourth quarter, and the Spurs went on to win their fifth in a row and eighth in nine games with a 107-100 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night. Tim Duncan scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Spurs, winners of 12 of their last 14 road games. Parker scored half of his 24 in the fourth quarter. Kawhi Leonard added 14, Manu Ginobili 13 and Matt Bonner 10 for San Antonio. Shannon Brown, starting because Grant Hill was a late scratch with right knee inflammation, scored a career-high 32 for Phoenix. Marcin Gortat added 21 points and 14 rebounds in just the second home loss for the Suns in 10 games since the All-Star break. Steve Nash had 16 points and eight assists. Brown, who signed with the Suns as a free agent before the season, matched his career best with five 3-pointers, in 10 tries. Phoenix shot 51.5 percent through three quarters but made just 33 percent (7 of 21) in the fourth. The Spurs led by as many as nine in the first half and were up 62-57 at the break behind Duncan's 17 points and eight rebounds. Duncan was 8 of 9 from the field. Phoenix started the second half with a 12-2 run to go up 69-64 on Gortat's 6-footer. Brown's fifth and final 3-pointer of the night put the Suns ahead 79-74 with 4:50 left in the third quarter, but San Antonio scored the next six, the last four by Ginobili, to take an 80-79 lead. The Spurs were up 84-83 entering the fourth. After Robin Lopez's reverse layup cut San Antonio's lead to 88-87 with 10:08 to play, Parker started the decisive run with a layup on a pass from Ginobili. Parker followed with a 13-footer, then made a 20-footer. Boris Diaw sank a 20-footer, then Parker capped the outburst with a 10-foot jumper after Phoenix's second straight turnover, and the Spurs led 98-87 with 5:59 to go. Nash's 18-footer cut it to 98-89, but Leonard made a 3 from the corner to put San Antonio ahead 101-89 with 5:29 to go. Brown was fouled by Leonard on a 3-point attempt and made all three from the line to slice the lead to 103-94 with 3:15 to go, then Jared Dudley's tip-in, his lone basket of the night, cut it to 103-96 with 1:22 to play. Brown's driving layup made it 103-98 but with just 33.9 seconds left, Phoenix ran out of time. Parker sealed the victory with four in a row from the foul line. Notes: Phoenix shot 56 percent in the first half, San Antonio 55 percent. ... The teams meet three times in the final 29 days of the season, twice in the final 11. ... Phoenix stayed 1 1/2 games behind idle Utah and Denver for the No. 8 playoff spot in the West.
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