Spurs look to keep momentum as they host Suns
The San Antonio Spurs have regained their footing after falling into the pack early in the season and look to continue their momentum when they host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday at the AT&T Center.
Bryn Forbes scored 22 points to lead four Spurs' bench players in double figures on Friday as San Antonio beat Charlotte 108-101. The win allowed San Antonio to break a four-game losing streak, which had been the first time the Spurs lost four games in a row since February 2015.
Sunday's contest is the third of a six-game homestand for the Spurs, while Phoenix heads to the Alamo City for the final outing of a 10-day, five-game road trip that's sent it to Portland, Brooklyn, Washington D.C. and New York, where it lost 120-107 on Friday night to the Knicks.
Fellow reserve Rudy Gay added 20 points for the Spurs (5-4) on Friday, who earned a 64-16 advantage over Charlotte in bench scoring. Patty Mills added 17 points (12 in the fourth quarter), LaMarcus Aldridge had 14 points and Dejounte Murray and Manu Ginobili contributed 10 points apiece for San Antonio.
Forbes finished five points shy of a career high by making 8 of 11 shots in 22 minutes.
"It felt good to play some more minutes and make some shots," Forbes said. "I just try to contribute any way I can and do what they tell me to do and try to affect the game in some way. That's all I was thinking -- that and to try to keep my confidence high."
San Antonio center Pau Gasol, who had 10 rebounds against the Hornets, said the losing streak had weighed heavy on the Spurs' collective backs.
"We were able to win (Friday) and find a way to get back on the right track," Gasol said. "It's important, especially now that we have this home stretch, for us to capitalize and get as many wins as possible. It needs to be a complete game every night; it needs to be sharper every night."
San Antonio is still without star forward Kawhi Leonard and veteran point guard Tony Parker -- and will be for the foreseeable future.
Devin Booker led the Suns on Friday against New York with 34 points, but no other Phoenix player scored more than 15 points in the loss. The Suns shot 35 percent from the field for the game and just 28 percent from 3-point range. The defeat snapped a two-game win streak for Phoenix (4-5).
"After we won four out of five games, we sort of came out and forgot what had won us those games," Booker said. "We have to go out there and play with effort and with an edge. We haven't been doing that."
Forward T.J. Warren, who hit for a career-high 40 points on Wednesday against Washington, suffered a head injury 10 minutes into the game and did not return. The Suns said he was held out of the game with a headache. Warren missed 13 games last year with a head injury and hit his head against the floor in a preseason game in October against Utah, opening a gash that needed five stitches to close.
Interim coach Jay Triano was more concerned his team's defense that allowed New York to shoot 51.7 percent for the game. New York had 62 points in the paint, mostly on backdoor cuts when the Suns lost their focus.
"Usually we're pretty good with our head on a swivel and we see that," Triano said. "But we got caught watching guys who aren't really scorers and when they're not scoring we shouldn't pay so much attention to them. That's part of our growth, and we'll get better at it."
The Spurs won two of three games against Phoenix last year, with the loss coming in Mexico City when Booker scored a then-career-high 39 points. San Antonio has posted seven straight home wins against the Suns, dating back to Feb. 2013.
Updated November 4, 2017