Spurs close out Rodeo trip in Phoenix
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Antonio Spurs will close out their annual Rodeo trip Friday with a matchup against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.
The Spurs are 6-2 on the nine-game sojourn and have beaten some of the NBA's best on the trek, including the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. In Wednesday's 111-109 victory at Portland, Patty Mills took control in the fourth quarter and scored 13 of his 29 points in the stanza.
"Patty was spectacular again. He's a tough cover. He's a great competitor and he has helped us like that all year long," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.
Marco Belinelli scored 20 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer down the stretch, while Danny Green and Manu Ginobili chipped in 16 points apiece for the Spurs, who have won seven of nine overall and improved to 22-7 on the road.
Tony Parker did not play and is expected to miss some time with various ailments and Tim Duncan rested against the Blazers. Kawhi Leonard is probable against the Suns because of a broken finger and hasn't played since Jan. 22 in a loss to Oklahoma City.
San Antonio will start a three-game homestand next week versus Detroit, Charlotte and Dallas, and is 2 1/2 games behind the Thunder for conference bragging rights.
Phoenix is currently sixth in the West and will resume a four-game homestand Friday night. It opened the stay with Wednesday's 100-94 win over the Boston Celtics and received a team-best 18 points from Markieff Morris.
Goran Dragic and Gerald Green scored 17 points apiece for Phoenix, which is 18-9 at home and prevailed for the eighth time in 11 tries. The Suns won both of their games on a back-to-back, claiming a victory at Denver on Tuesday.
"Coming off the back-to-back we were a little tired, a little exhausted," Channing Frye said. "I think we had some mental breakdowns but other than that I think we just battle and grind it out."
Frye had 15 points in a winning cause.
Dragic is posting an average of 22.5 points in his last 25 games and Green is averaging 26.0 ppg in his past four. Green had 36 points in the overtime win against the Nuggets. The Suns are 11-4 when Green reaches the 20-point mark.
The Suns will also host Houston and Minnesota on the homestand, and are 0-2 against the Spurs this season. San Antonio has won 11 of the last 13 games against Phoenix, which is winless in four straight meetings as the host in this series.