NBA: Depleted Suns edge Spurs, as West top seed still in play

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 17 2021 05:41 AM

NBA: Depleted Suns edge Spurs, as West top seed still in play 1
Suns head coach Monty Williams looks on against the Clippers during their game on April 28. Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports/Reuters

E'Twaun Moore poured in 22 points, including the deciding 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to play, to lift the visiting Phoenix Suns to a 123-121 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday in the final regular-season game for both teams.

Phoenix (51-21) was without Devin Booker (rest), Chris Paul (rest) and Deandre Ayton (knee) as the Suns opted to keep key players on the bench despite the chance to earn the top spot in the Western Conference.

San Antonio pulled its starters at the end of the third quarter, allowing the two teams' bench players to decide the contest. The Suns' reserves had just enough to secure the win that forced Utah to win in Sacramento later Sunday in order to finish atop of Phoenix in the West.

The Suns hold the tiebreaker over the Jazz because they swept their regular-season series.

Eight Suns players scored in double figures, with Cameron Payne and Jevon Carter scoring 19 points each. Carter (with 10 rebounds) and Frank Kaminsky and Jalen Smith (each with 11 points and 10 rebounds) all had double doubles for Phoenix.

The Spurs have had the 10th position in the conference standings and a spot in the play-in tournament assured since Thursday. San Antonio will play either Memphis or Golden State on the road on Wednesday.

San Antonio's DeMar DeRozan had 23 points while Jakob Poeltl added 17 points and 10 rebounds. Rudy Gay scored 12 points and Quinndary Weatherspoon hit for 11 for the Spurs (33-39), who have dropped four straight games.

Phoenix led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter against the Spurs' regular starters but the game turned early in the second with the help of San Antonio's second unit. The Spurs used a 12-2 run to run to a 48-40 advantage midway through the period and led by as much as 12 points before settling for a 61-52 edge at intermission.

DeRozan led all scorers with 17 points in the first half, with Poeltl hitting for 15 and Gay adding 12 for the Spurs. Payne, filling in for Paul at the point guard position, paced the Suns with 16 points over the first 24 minutes.

The Spurs were still up 69-65 at the 8:14 mark of the third quarter before Phoenix shifted back into high gear, forging a 13-2 run to leap into a 78-71 lead. The Suns took an 89-85 advantage to the final period.


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