The Phoenix Suns started Friday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs like a team that knew its playoff chances hinged on its final four games.
They ended it like one that was projected to win fewer than 25 games.
Despite racing out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter against the Tim Duncan- and Manu Ginobili-less Spurs, Phoenix faltered down the stretch en route to a 112-104 road loss in a game that could be pivotal in the playoff standings, though it played without star guard Goran Dragic.
Here’s a closer look at the loss, by the numbers:
Suns guard Eric Bledsoe finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists — one assist away from his first career triple-double. Bledsoe did his damage without backcourt mate Goran Dragic, who sat with a sprained ankle.
Phoenix’s 37 first-quarter points came within three of matching the most San Antonio has allowed in an opening quarter this season.
Bledsoe’s 11 rebounds were a team high, with center Miles Plumlee’s nine the only one that matched him. No other Phoenix player grabbed more than three boards, with the exception of P.J. Tucker’s five.
The Suns assisted on just 18 of their 39 made field goals — a major byproduct of Dragic’s absense.
The Suns dominated the first quarter on their way to a 21-point lead — one that was wiped away by the end of the third quarter.
San Antonio guard Danny Green racked up a career-high 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting, including 7-of-10 from 3-point range.