Suns face Spurs, look to extend win streak to five

NBA

The Phoenix Suns will go for their fifth straight win when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night in the second game of a back-to-back for the visitors.

The Suns have captured four consecutive games and 11 of their past 12 in moving to second place in the Western Conference standings. Phoenix’s most recent win was on Thursday, a 122-114 victory over the Sacramento Kings. It was the Suns’ 10th straight home win.

Saturday’s game is the finale of a five-game homestand for Phoenix.

Deandre Ayton led the Suns on Thursday with 26 points and 11 rebounds while Devin Booker added 23 points and Mikal Bridges, Jevon Carter and Chris Paul scored 13 each. Paul added 11 assists.

Ayton had 10 points in the fourth quarter and two key late baskets to put the Suns over the hump. He finished 10-of-11 from the floor and made all six of his free throws.

“We just had to gut it out,” Phoenix coach Monty Williams said after the win. “I was really happy for (Ayton) to be able to be the guy down the stretch, taking advantage of his size against their switches.”

The Suns (40-15) haven’t made the playoffs since 2010.

Booker was just 3-of-13 from beyond the arc on Thursday but is seeing light at the end of the tunnel for his recent shooting slump.

“Still spots where I can get a lot better in, but overall, coming out with wins,” Booker said. “Coach always says coming by any win in this league is a hard thing to do. So that’s something we don’t want to take for granted. We put the personal play aside, and we all have a main objective of winning the game.”

San Antonio heads to the Valley of the Sun on the heels of a 107-106 loss at home to Portland on Friday. The Spurs led by 16 midway through the third quarter before Portland rallied to tie early in the fourth and took the lead for good on Norman Powell’s driving layup with 22.8 seconds to play.

San Antonio had three chances to hit the winning shot in the final seconds while grabbing two offensive rebounds but couldn’t convert.

“We played hard the whole night, but down the stretch too many mistakes on the defensive end and a couple of turnovers,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said after Friday’s loss.

DeMar DeRozan led the Spurs with 26 points and added 10 assists in Friday’s loss. Jakob Poeltl hit for 17 points, Drew Eubanks scored 15, and Dejounte Murray had 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Derrick White tallied 13 points for San Antonio, which has dropped two straight games.

This is the first meeting of the season between the two teams.

–Field Level Media

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