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Gamethread: San Antonio Spurs (40-15) at Phoenix Suns (32-21) - It's on!

Nice to see these two teams facing off with playoff positioning on the line again, but let's not fool ourselves - this game counts more for the Suns than the Spurs.

Christian Petersen

The Phoenix Suns need this win to maintain their playoff position, while the San Antonio Spurs are just trying to get through the end of a long road trip.

The Spurs are doing just fine on the long roadie, going 7-1 so far with mostly Patty Mills at the point while Tony Parker is out for a "variety of maladies". Also out tonight is Kawhi Leonard, though Manu Ginobili will likely play and Tim Duncan will definitely play.

Patty Mills love

Suns coach Jeff Hornacek on Mills: "Patty Mills is an active guy, he's got all the energy in the world. He's kind of like our Ish, he's hard to chase around. He can get around guys and then he can pull up for shots."

Spurs coach Greg Popovich also talked about Mills, saying that Mills "totally changed his body" between his first and second seasons in San Antonio, which really helped his game in a big way.

Mutual love between coaches

Hornacek on the Spurs: "They play together as a team, they play hard, they're constantly moving - the way I played I always felt that was my strength, to continually move, move, move and eventually you're going to get open."

Popovich on Hornacek: "A lot of credit goes to Jeff. He will try to deflect it all because of who he is. He sets a tone and he has a lot of credibility for the way he has carried himself through his career. He is a persistent individual who played a hard nosed brand of basketball who is very disciplined."

Pop on the Suns: "Management has brought in players that suit him and work with each other. They don't have any problems or drama. They compete. He has a bunch of competitors. I think all those things combined have created an environment where they can be successful."

The final word, from Pop: "I know this is a sin but I coveted [Hornacek] a lot [when he was playing]."


"It's Friday?!?" Hornacek said when I reminded him it's an orange night. He joked that they'd better win or those jerseys are toast.


Okay that all sounds way too mushy. The Suns hate the Spurs. The Spurs knocked the Suns around in the 'oughts' like a big brother. The little brother returned the favor in 2010. Since then, the Suns have missed the playoffs while the Spurs have made yet another NBA Finals.

"Stop saying that," Hornacek says of the Spurs being called old. "They thrive on that. It's a challenge for them."

So drop any hint of respect for the next three hours. Drop all that coveting and kick their asses. The Spurs have beaten the Suns twice this year already.

Forget the orange jerseys. Focus on the Suns' 2-0 record with Gerald Green's new haircut!

Let's go!

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