Spurs beat Suns, extend win streakDec 21, 2010 - 6:06 AM San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Gary Neal scored a career-high 22 points and the San Antonio Spurs extended their winning streak to nine games with a 118-110 victory over the short-handed Phoenix Suns.
A close game was blown open by San Antonio's 23-3 run in the third quarter. Coincidently, that was the club's league-leading record coming into the game.
Tim Duncan provided 20 points, 15 rebounds and six assists for the Spurs, who got 19 points from Tony Parker and 17 from Richard Jefferson.
"The third was the difference in the whole game," said Duncan. "We worked hard on the boards and did a better job defensively. We got a couple of stops in a row and it changed the whole game for us."
The Suns made a run to pull within single digits in the fourth quarter, but they ran out of gas without the three players they acquired in a trade with Orlando on Saturday -- Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat and Mickael Pietrus.
Jared Dudley scored a game-high 27 points in the loss, Phoenix's fifth in seven games.
A tight first half saw the Spurs lead by one, 27-26, after the opening frame, and the Suns lead by one, 54-53, at the intermission.
Things changed in third when San Antonio exploded for 40 points.
After trading buckets to start the stanza, the Spurs scored eight points in less than a minute, as Duncan put in a layup prior to Manu Ginobili and Parker both hitting from long range.
Grant Hill momentarily stopped the flurry with a jumper, but the Suns went the next four-plus minutes without hitting a field goal.
"That was a tough part right there," said Hill. "We competed and showed a lot of energy, but there was a stretch there where they just took over and we couldn't counter."
A Duncan putback ended the game-changing 22-3 flurry for a healthy 78-59 cushion with 6:14 left, and the Spurs held a 93-78 advantage heading to the fourth.
Phoenix embarked on a quick 8-2 run to start the frame, and a Josh Childress bucket cut the deficit 95-86.
A Steve Nash three-pointer got the visitors as close as 105-98 with 5:39 remaining, but the Spurs scored the next eight points to put the game away.
Neal scored the final six, capping it was a jumper with 3:08 to go.
Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu, two of the three players Phoenix traded away in Saturday's trade, made their Magic debut on Monday. Earl Clark, the other player in the deal, was a DNP - coach's decision - in Orlando's 91-81 loss...Hill had 19 points, while Nash ended with 17 points and 10 assists in defeat...Ginobili donated 15 points for the Spurs, who made 24-of-30 foul shots...Phoenix is 4-15 in its last 19 trips to San Antonio.
- PHOENIX: 110
SAN ANTONIO: 118
Dec 20 10:58 PM
- PHOENIX: 79
SAN ANTONIO: 93
End of 3rd
Dec 20 10:20 PM
- PHOENIX: 54
SAN ANTONIO: 53
Dec 20 9:34 PM
- PHOENIX: 26
SAN ANTONIO: 27
End of 1st
Dec 20 9:02 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Dec 20 8:41 PM
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