The Phoenix Suns have risen to just about every challenge this season but will arguably face their biggest one yet Tuesday when they meet the San Antonio Spurs at the SBC Center.
The Suns have won 11 straight games and 20 of their last 21 en route to the best start in the NBA since the Chicago Bulls opened the 1996-97 campaign 25-3.
Steve Nash has recorded at least 10 assists in every game during Phoenix's streak, including Sunday's 106-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Nash, who was named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, had 18 points and 13 assists and Amare Stoudemire added 33 points.
Stoudemire has reached the 30-point plateau in each of his last three outings and ranks fourth in the league with a 25.6 scoring average.
The Suns' 11-game winning streak matches the second longest in team history, behind only a 14-game stretch in December 1992.
To extend its streak to 12, Phoenix will have to hand San Antonio just its second loss at home this season.
The Spurs, who own the second-best record in the NBA, have won six of their last seven, including all five at the SBC Center.
Two-time MVP Tim Duncan has been held in check in the last two games, scoring just 16.5 points, but Tony Parker has picked up the slack with 23 per game over that stretch after a 27-point performance against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Posted by Chris at 4:14 PM
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Even with a sub-par effort from Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs had more than enough to continue their home dominance of the Golden State Warriors.
Tony Parker collected a season high-tying 21 points and nine assists and Manu Ginobili added 21, seven rebounds and six assists as the Spurs overcame a poor first 18 minutes to easily defeat the Warriors a 15th straight time at home, 104-85.
Duncan, who had been averaging 23.6 points and 12.6 rebounds, had just 12 and seven in this one but it did not matter as the Spurs shot 52 percent (43-of-83) from the floor.
"As a team, we have to get some pride and stop the guy in front of us," said Warriors forward Troy Murphy, who scored 17 points. "Cliff (Robinson) did a great job of stopping Duncan, and we all have to defend more like that."
The Spurs trailed by 11 points after one quarter and by as many as 14 midway through the second period before waking up. Ginobili scored eight points and Parker six during a 17-0 run that gave San Antonio a 47-43 edge with 1:35 left, and the Spurs led thereafter.
"The group that gave us the run in the second quarter set the table for us," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "It was the time in the game when we took control. They did a good job from that point on."
Parker produced 17 points in the quarter, which ended with San Antonio ahead, 49-45.
"We started slow. We were flat, like in the New Orleans game," said Parker, alluding to Friday's 83-67 road win. "In the second quarter, we made some stops and did a better job of getting the defensive matchups we wanted."
"There was just too much Tony Parker tonight," Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. "When he was in the game, he really, really hurt us. We played well early and ran the floor, but when he came back in the second, he really hurt us."
San Antonio held just a 72-67 lead entering the fourth quarter before Ginobili and rookie Beno Udrih helped push the advantage to 94-73 just 4:40 later, combining to score 12 points on a variety of swoops to the basket and reverse layups.
"They are a really good basketball team," Montgomery said. "Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker got to the hoop whenever they wanted. They just killed us with their penetration to the basket tonight."
Jason Richardson contributed 22 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State, which has not won in San Antonio since a 108-94 victory at the Alamodome on February 14, 1997 - four months before the Spurs drafted Duncan.
Posted by Chris at 6:03 PM
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
The San Antonio Spurs are sitting pretty right now. They are on a 8 game winning streak and are in first place in the South West division.
The Spurs are also sitting on a 16-3 record.
Ducan put on another grade A effort by putting up another double - double in there latest win against the sloppy Bulls. The final score was 91 - 75. The Spurs win, of course.
Next game will take place in Seattle. That is going to be a tough one. Seattle is also leading there division with a 15-3. So watch the game.
Posted by Chris at 4:56 PM