Spurs seek to continue Suns' woes
The San Antonio Spurs snapped a two-game home losing streak on Sunday when they defeated Washington and will look to expand on that success when they host the hapless Phoenix Suns on Tuesday.
The Spurs head into play after a 132-119 win over Washington on Sunday in which LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 30 points despite a sore left wrist as one of seven players to finish in double digits.
Davis Bertans added 21 points for the Spurs that included a 5 for 8 performance from beyond the arc. Derrick White and Bryn Forbes hit for 16 points apiece, Patty Mills scored 15, and Marco Belinelli and Rudy Gay contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively, for San Antonio.
The Spurs shot 57 percent from the floor in the win, the third straight game they've made at least 52 percent of their field-goal attempts.
Even with its torrid shooting, things did not come easy for San Antonio -- mostly because of porous defense that allowed the Wizards 69 points in the first half. Coach Gregg Popovich used his timeouts prodigiously, especially early in the game to make sure he had his team's attention.
"He didn't even cuss that much -- that's a surprise," Bertans said about Popovich. "He was just kind of talking to us, explaining the situation and asking, 'What the hell is going on?' Just asking us to communicate."
San Antonio will be without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan for the third straight game. DeRozan has a balky left knee.
Also on the injury front, Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray had progressed well from surgery to repair his torn right ACL but Popovich on Sunday said there is "zero" chance of his return this season.
"It's an ACL," Popovich said. "Unless there's some new deal out there that someone came up with that we don't know about."
The Spurs take on the Suns in the second game of a four-game homestand that immediately precludes San Antonio's annual Rodeo Road Trip. This year the Spurs will play eight straight games away from home while the AT&T Center is being used for the San Antonio Livestock Show & Rodeo.
The Suns head to the Alamo City on the heels of a 116-102 road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. It was the eighth straight loss for Phoenix, its second-longest losing skid of the season. The club dropped 10 games in a row from Nov. 25 to Dec. 11.
Devin Booker led the Suns with 21 points in the loss while Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 and Mikal Bridges 16 points for Phoenix. Richaun Holmes scored 12 points and took 10 rebounds after missing the previous four games with a sprained right foot.
Booker is frustrated with Suns' inability to get over the hump but is hoping there is some light at the end of the tunnel.
"The constant losing -- that's what gets to me and has always gotten to me," Booker said. "Maybe one day there will be beauty in this. That we went through the ringer to get where we need to go. That's my job to make that happen."
The Suns played Sunday without center Deandre Ayton, the first pick in last year's NBA draft, for the fifth straight game because of a sprained left ankle. Ayton is listed as doubtful for Tuesday's game.
Rookie guard De'Anthony Melton will miss his third straight game because of a sprained right ankle, and according to coach Igor Kokoskov, he is expected to miss a significant amount of time.
The Spurs have won 10 straight games at home against Phoenix, but did lose -- and lose badly -- to the Suns earlier this year in the Valley of the Sun.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 28, 2019