Suns Strokes: Ginobili takes over, as San Antonio ends Phoenix’s five-game win streak
PHOENIX — He may be older, but Manu Ginobili can still take over a game, especially against the Phoenix Suns.
The 36-year-old veteran scored 11 points in a 15-4 fourth-quarter run by the San Antonio Spurs to end the Suns’ season-best five-game winning streak, 108-101.
Ginobili, off the bench, scored a game-high 24 points to more than make up for the absence of Tony Paker, who did not play because of a bruised right shin.
The third member of the Spurs’ Axis of Evil, Tim Duncan, finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Channing Frye, meanwhile, led the Suns with 22 points, giving him back-to-back games of 20 or more for the first time since Feb. 2011.
Frye blistered the Spurs for 15 points, hitting all six of his shots including a trio of three-pointers, as the Suns raced out to a 34-29 first quarter lead. The 34 points were the second-most allowed by San Antonio in the opening quarter this season.
Markieff Morris had eight of his 12 points and grabbed four of his six rebounds in the fourth quarter. He scored seven straight points at one point.
Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic combined to miss 11 of 14 shots, including three three-pointers in the fourth quarter. Together, they finished 12-of-33 for 33 points.
STAT OF THE GAME
While it wasn’t a season-high, the Suns committed 19 turnovers — their most in the past five games, including seven in both the second and fourth quarters. The Spurs scored a total of 25 points off the Suns’ miscues.
HE SAID IT
“We are past the point of moral victories,” Jeff Hornacek said.
“It’s a great win for us,” Gregg Popovich said. “These guys have been hot as a firecracker and they’ve been playing great all year. The job Jeff and his guys have done has been unbelievable, so for us it’s a thrill to come in here and win.”
Going into the game, Tim Duncan had played 37 more minutes in his 16-year NBA career than the Suns’ entire active roster combined (42,064 vs. 42,027).
The Suns tied a franchise record with their 16th straight game making seven or more three-pointers.
The Suns hit the road, as they travel to Denver for a game against the Nuggets on Friday, December 20. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. MST with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 620.