Dec 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (11) controls the ball under pressure from San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) and Jeff Ayres (11) in the second half at US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 108-101. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Suns Falter In Final Minutes, Fall Short Against Spurs


Dec 18, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Marcus Morris (left) grabs a rebound against San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner in the first half at US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 108-101. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

 

It was a rough Wednesday night for the Phoenix Suns, as their five game win streak came to an unfortunate end with a 108-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

There’s no better way to say it. The Suns simply were outplayed by Tim Duncan and company. They failed to take advantage of the absence of star point guard Tony Parker, and the difference veteran experience makes in close games was demonstrated by the stark difference in the last few minutes between the two teams. The Suns seemed to lack urgency in crunch time, while the Spurs stepped up to match the circumstances. That’s something young teams have issues with, while experienced teams have learned that skill.

The dynamic duo of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe had an ice cold night. The pair shot a collective 10-31 from the floor, and 0-5 from deep. Goran Dragic had 18 points and four assists, while Eric Bledsoe had 15 points and seven assists. This is neither the backcourt tandem people have come to expect from the Suns, nor the one that will help them win ball games.  Eric Bledsoe, famed for his excellent play in the fourth quarter since he became a member of the Suns, shot 1-8 in the fourth, including a few downright ugly fadeaways. Players have cold nights, and hopefully the pair can make this a rare situation.

On the positive end, Channing Frye had  eight of the first 11 Suns points, and finished with 22 points overall, shooting 4-4 from behind the arc. Miles Plumlee finished with 13 points, 13 boards, and two blocks. He has begun a streak of excellent inside defense, which has been an asset to a Suns team that sometimes lacks interior toughness.

Overall, the Suns simply let their youth get the best of them. They played decently, but didn’t rise to the occasion late in the game. In the last four minutes, Manu Ginobili walked all over the Suns defense, and that proved to be the deciding factor. They also seemed to shy away from the aggressive strategy on offense that they normally use.

The Suns five game win streak has been snapped, as they move to a still respectable 14-10. The Suns will travel to Denver Friday night to take on Ty Lawson and the Nuggets

 

Tags: Basketball NBA Phoenix Suns Suns