Today in Mexico City was no different.
The Suns led 96-94 with under three minutes left, but then Patty Mills made consecutive three-point shots followed immediately by the Suns earning TWO technicals on one dead ball. And suddenly a two-point Suns lead was a six-point deficit, with just over 2 minutes left.
Why did the Suns earn two technicals? Because the Suns freaked out when the officials gave the ball to the Spurs on a tip that was clearly off Aldridge, and once again the refs not only refused to review the call on the dead ball but they called not only Rubio for arguing but also Booker for stepping too far onto the court during the argument.
The Suns responded with a 6-0 run to tie it with just over a minute left, but then Dario Saric fouled Rudy Gay on a corner three (heard this rune before?!?) to let the Spurs retake the lead with 56.4 seconds left, 107-104. Rudy Gay is a 28% three point shooter.
Aron Baynes pulled the Suns back to 107-106, but LaMarcus Aldridge got the offensive rebound put-back on the next play to give the Spurs a three point lead with 16.7 seconds left.
Then KELLY OUBRE HAPPENED. Oubre made a three with 2.6 seconds left, forcing an overtime. This would be the Spurs fourth straight overtime game. LOLZ.
In overtime, the Suns struggled to score and found themselves with zero points after three minutes, until Kelly Oubre drove and drew the foul for an and-one.
Ricky Rubio gave the Suns the lead with a jumper but then Patty Mills made a three — his 6th in 14 attempts — to give the Spurs the 116-114 lead with just over a minute left in overtime. Mills had gotten the ball picked by Rubio, but then returned the favor and raced down for an open three before the Suns even knew what was happening.
Cam Johnson tied it again on a driving cut for a dunk, but then Aldridge got himself free throws, making one of two to give the Spurs the lead back.
Rubio made a three to put the Suns BACK UP, 119-117, so when Aldridge missed a short runner the Suns had the ball with 9.2 seconds left.
Suns ball. 9.2 seconds left. All they gotta do is run out the cloc—-
But of course the Spurs happened. The Suns could not get the ball in (Murray appeared to pull Rubio away from the ball just enough to force the turnover). Spurs ball. DeMar DeRozan drove hard to the lane and got the circus layup to go, along with the foul.
DeRozan missed, but the Spurs forced a loose ball on the rebound and got possession for the winning shot opportunity with 3.8 seconds left. Yet another call that didn’t go the Suns way. Replays showed the ball go off Aldridge’s knee, but the refs called it off Mikal Bridges’ head. Why was Mikal on the ground in the first place?!
Then Patty Mills makes the game winner.
Spurs win, 121-119.
Patty Mills was the hero for the Spurs, finishing with 26 points including every single big shot in the game.
Rubio led the Suns with 25 points, 13 assists. Dario Saric had 19 points and 17 boards, while Frank had 22 points and 7 rebounds.
But it was 50-50 calls that all went against the Suns at the end.
Isn’t that how all Spurs games go? Jeezus.
The Phoenix Suns cannot seem to stay healthy, can they? This time Devin Booker was unable to play (forearm bruise) as the Suns traveled down to Mexico City for a much-needed win over the struggling Spurs. Booker is the Suns leading scorer and best shooter, propping up a starting lineup that is, at best, inconsistent in that department.
Booker was inactive as his forearm pain did not improve, and may have gotten worse in the Wednesday game against the Grizzlies.
So the Suns started Mikal Bridges for the first time this season, and needed to be able to rely on the likes of Ricky Rubio, Frank Kaminsky and Kelly Oubre Jr. to have good shooting games. Rubio and Frank responded, at least inside the arc, but Oubre did not have a good shooting game at any level.
The Suns led by as many as 10 points in the 4th quarter, but the Spurs bench surged and took a 6-point lead early in the fourth quarter 86-80 as the Suns just struggled to do anything.
The Spurs bench played an excellent game, all big pluses on the scoreboard against the Suns bench. The Suns bench — Tyler Johnson, Elie Okobo, Aron Baynes and Cameron Johnson — was tough to watch. They collectively made only 6-20 shots while they were in the game to the point the Spurs had the six-point lead. That’s tough to absorb.
The starting lineup was much better, even though Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mikal Bridges struggled offensively. Rubio, Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky all did well to keep the Suns afloat.
The Spurs bench included Rudy Gay, Jakob Poeltl, Lonnie Walker Jr., Derrick White, Patty Mills and Marco Bellinelli gave the Spurs a burst of energy, along with Dejounte Murray from the starting lineup.