Spurs handle Suns to stop slide, clinch divisionApr 4, 2011 - 4:04 AM San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - George Hill led the way with 29 points off the bench, as the San Antonio Spurs snapped a six-game slide with an easy 114-97 win over the Phoenix Suns at AT&T Center.
The outcome, coupled with Dallas' loss to Portland, clinched the Southwest Division title for San Antonio.
Matt Bonner had a solid game in a reserve role, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Gary Neal chipped in 15 points off the bench for the Spurs, who improved to an NBA-best 58-19. They are now 2 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Spurs halted their longest losing streak since the 1996-97 season.
"I don't take losing lightly," Bonner said. "Six in a row after winning so many games all year it weighs on you mentally, so first and foremost to get the win, end the losing streak, and try to build off that confidence."
Richard Jefferson posted 12 points and seven boards in a starting role and Tim Duncan was limited to eight points in just over 18 minutes of action for the victors.
Aaron Brooks and Channing Frye each had 14 points for Phoenix, which was eliminated from postseason contention with New Orleans' win over Indiana later Sunday. Jared Dudley ended with 12 points and 10 rebounds in defeat.
"They came out and beat our behinds," Frye said.
Hill hit a pair of three-pointers and went for 16 points in the opening quarter to help the Spurs grab a 35-20 lead after 12 minutes and they started to pull away in the second, going up by as many as 29.
Bonner started a 17-6 run with a three-point play and after Tiago Splitter's dunk capped the surge, San Antonio was in front 57-28 near the midway point. Bonner accounted for eight of the points.
Phoenix answered with 12-4 run, finished off by two free throws by Dudley to get the Suns within 21, 61-40, with 1:29 before the break, but Hill beat the buzzer with a baseline jumper to give the Spurs a healthy 70-46 lead heading into the locker room.
San Antonio went ahead by as many as 31 points 3 1/2 minutes into the third, but a pair of free throws from Frye cut the deficit to 17 with 35.7 seconds remaining in the quarter. However, Hill's driving layup and make at the line closed out the scoring to put his squad up 91-71 after three.
The Spurs controlled the pace throughout the fourth and never let their advantage dip below double-digits.
Phoenix star guard Steve Nash missed his second straight game with flu-like symptoms...Prior to the game, the Spurs recalled guard/forward Danny Green from Austin of the NBA Development League...San Antonio won all three meetings between the two clubs this season and has now taken seven of nine overall versus Phoenix.
- PHOENIX: 97
SAN ANTONIO: 114
Apr 3 3:14 PM
- PHOENIX: 71
SAN ANTONIO: 91
End of 3rd
Apr 3 2:45 PM
- PHOENIX: 46
SAN ANTONIO: 70
Apr 3 1:59 PM
- PHOENIX: 20
SAN ANTONIO: 35
End of 1st
Apr 3 1:28 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
SAN ANTONIO: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 3 1:03 PM
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