San Antonio’s big finale turns out to be a dud


Few game recaps have the luxury of being as straightforward as this one. The San Antonio Spurs were simply bad in a 106-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns, a loss that capped off a 6-3 Rodeo Road Trip. San Antonio committed 18 turnovers against the Suns and shot just 35 percent from the field. A 2-for-21 (about 10 percent, if you’re rounding up) performance from beyond the 3-point line was a major factor in that low shooting percentage.

It’s not the way the Spurs would’ve preferred to finish off the annual road trip. With the exception of a couple of hiccups against the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons, this had been a good road trip for San Antonio. No two lineups seemed the same for Gregg Popovich and yet the Spurs somehow pieced together wins, including sweeping a back-to-back over the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week.

But Friday night’s loss to the Suns can’t leave San Antonio with a good feeling heading into a few days off. I’m sure all involved are happy to be home, but when the Suns only get eight points (on 3-for-10 shooting) and five assists from Goran Dragic, you would expect to win. Instead, Phoenix shot 51 percent from the field and resoundingly thumped the Spurs.

Patty Mills, who had been on a tear of late and a big reason for San Antonio’s success on this road trip despite the inconsistency in personnel, came back to Earth faster than Felix Baumgartner. Patty finished 2-for-14 shooting, 0-for-6 from 3, and had three turnovers in the loss.

It seemed we were in for that sort of night in the first half, when Mills shot 1-of-8. As the second half was about to begin, the broadcast cameras caught Mills standing with Gregg Popovich in front of the San Antonio bench, trying to lightheartedly keep a frustrated Mills’ spirits up, as if to say hey, it’s not that big a deal, relax, have some fun and the shots will start falling. They didn’t, but it was the right idea.

Needless to say, Mills isn’t the reason the Spurs lost the game. It’s just that he’s been bailing the team out as of late, especially in the recent west coast back-to-back without Tony Parker. With Mills struggling, no one else stepped up offensively to shoulder the load. Marco Belinelli was 1-for-8 from the field, Tim Duncan 4-for-10, Boris Diaw 1-for-5 and Cory Joseph threw some of the worst passes I’ve seen from a Spur in several years.

The lone bright spots were Danny Green’s 6-for-12 from the floor and Tiago Splitter’s white shoes. Oh, and his 3-for-4 in just under six minutes of action. We didn’t even get to see Gregg Popovich adequately break in Austin Daye, who San Antonio acquired just before Thursday’s trade deadline. Frankly, it was a wasted evening.

But these nights happen. It’s just unfortunate for the silver and black that it came on the tail end of what was otherwise another successful Rodeo Road Trip.

  • Brandon

    That 19-0 run in the second quarter was tough to watch. The guys just looked tired and ready to go home. I don’t understand why Manu and Tiago were on limited minutes after they both played over 20 minutes in the Portland game and had a day off between games. Pop gets a lot of credit for limiting his veterans’ minutes, but it’s getting a little ridiculous.

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    You’re right, I completely forgot to mention that run. That was where the game turned.

  • spurs10

    I drove a fair distance to see the game, just in time for the 19-0 run. Would seem like my timing was even worse than the Spurs. Just hope that Dragic’s kick to Manu’s HAMSTRING wasn’t as bad as it looked. For most fans four days off is a long time, but Spurs fans should be relieved. 6-3 considering the shape we’re in was not bad. Granger or MTW anyone?

  • ThatBigGuy

    “With Mills struggling, no one else stepped up offensively to shoulder the load.”

    I didn’t see this statement coming 3 months ago. I’m kinda glad he didn’t go for another 25 point night, because now we can still afford his services this summer.

    In other news, Big Baby Davis was bought out by the Magic. Who wants him to join the Spurs? Anyone? Bueller?

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    It was just as weird for me to type, trust me.

  • Saneel Radia

    great point. it also seemed to force Danny to be more offensive, which is helpful on the Patty Chills nights. his D still looks good, but we’ll need him to find that offensive rhythm a bit more consistently over the next few weeks (well, as ‘consistent’ as Danny can be).

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