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Game Preview: Phoenix Suns (31-28) vs. San Antonio Spurs (35-23)

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off the high of beating the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Phoenix Suns face the San Antonio Spurs with a lot on the line tonight.

The Suns are now only one game back of the 8th place Thunder after they lost in Portland last night. A win tonight would cut the lead to half a game, and would also allow the Suns to take a 2-1 lead in the season series against a Spurs team who at the end of the season might just have faded into striking distance of missing the playoffs.

Details

  • What: Phoenix Suns vs. San Antonio Spurs
  • Where: US Airways Center, Phoenix, Arizona
  • When: 7:00 PM
  • TV: FoxSports Arizona
  • Radio: ArizonaSports 98.7 FM

The Spurs

They haven't gotten on their usual roll on the Rodeo Trip like in previous seasons, and just might be finally showing their age this season.

The Spurs' defense is still top notch (6th overall in the league) and Kawhi Leonard is still a star in the making. He has not been healthy much of the season, but when he's healthy he's one of the game's best (14.8 points, 7.2 rebounds).

Tim Duncan is still nearly putting up a double-double - 14.7 points, 9.7 rebounds - but old standbys Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have been less than stellar.

Check out more on the Spurs at our SB Nation brother site Pounding The Rock

The Suns

Just some quick notes here. You already saw my feature on Eric Bledsoe today I'm sure.

Alex Len has five straight double-digit rebounding games since the Suns resumed play last week after the trade deadline, playing 33+ minutes per game along the way. He's definitely looking like a star in the making.

New dual PG Brandon Knight has looked good for the Suns, putting up 16.8 points and 4.5 assists while learning the ropes. Coach Hornacek said he's already learned the plays enough to direct other players into their spots like a true point guard does. And, he's vocal enough on defense to eventually become a real asset on that end, not only against his own man but in terms of helping the rest of the defense succeed.

The Lineups

suns-spurs-lineups

Out on a limb

I am going to predict that Markieff Morris has a great game tonight. He's been up and down lately, but this is a game where he needs to show up by making those midrange jumpers against the bigger but less nimble Tiago Splitter.

I also think Brandon Knight could have a break out game. His shot-making on catch-and-shoot threes will be sorely needed tonight against a Spurs team that doesn't give up a ton of threes.

Prediction

The Spurs are on the second night of a back to back, and the last of their nine-game Rodeo trip.

Last year when this happened, they arrived at US Airways Center barely 90 minutes before tipoff and got blown out by the Suns by 25 points.

Let's hope that happens again this year.