Feb. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) fights for the ball with San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) in the second half at US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 97-87. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Game Preview: Phoenix Suns (19-39) Vs. San Antonio Spurs (45-13)

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The Phoenix Suns face the NBA’s top-seeded San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night for the second time this week.

After finishing 7-2 on their latest road trip, the Spurs return to the AT&T Center where the team has been virtually unconquerable with their league-high 22-2 home record. With San Antonio on the verge of a third straight number-one rank in the Western Conference playoffs, this certainly does not bode well for Phoenix.

Don’t forget this is the same Spurs squad that coasted past the Suns at US Airways Center on Sunday. So will tonight’s game really be that different considering how the Suns season has transpired thus far?

Suns Keys to the Game:

  • Be engaged with every possession. Don’t fall into the Spurs trap of attempting to lull the opponent to sleep during possessions. San Antonio may not be “flashy,” but if Phoenix takes the casual approach here or there, this game will be over in a “flash.”
  • Be intense! This team has almost assuredly accepted their role as the consistent underdog. The Suns must embrace that label and use it as fuel for the fire tonight. Play with nothing to lose and leave it all on the floor.

 Spurs Keys to the Game:

  • Operate as a unit. The Spurs are notoriously known for playing what many refer to as a “boring” brand of basketball. Well why shouldn’t they seeing as how the team has won 18 consecutive home games? Regardless of their aesthetic appeal, the Spurs must simply continue to demonstrate team-first basketball.
  • Eyes on the prize! San Antonio has to be mindful of the fact that the path to the playoffs begins by facing each opponent one at a time. Step on the court knowing who the superior team is.  Remember, the Spurs have defeated the Suns in their last six meetings.

Matchup to Watch:

Goran Dragic vs. the Spurs starting point guard. Even though Tony Parker (triceps) said that he wants to play, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said that this recent road trip has given the team’s role players invaluable experience heading into the postseason.

“We’ve had to do it quite a bit this year as far as having one, two or three guys out,” Popovich said. “So the bench has gotten a good look and I think they have gained some good confidence through all that.”

X-Factor:

Tony Parker. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Parker participated in practice Tuesday and is set to play vs. the Suns despite being listed as day-to-day on the injury report. Therefore, the Suns must prepare like Parker, as well as his 21 points and eight assists per game, will be on the floor tonight. Whether Parker plays or not, this gives the Spurs yet another advantage entering the game.

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Tags: NBA Phoenix Suns San Antonio Spurs

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