This game was fun to watch in many ways — but that was a crazy turn of events in the second half and the San Antonio Spurs somehow found a way to hustle their way to a win over the Phoenix Suns 115-114.
The final sequence was crazy. The Suns had a five point lead with one minute left, 114-109, but then couldn’t execute against the Spurs sellout defense on Kevin Durant, and scored on three straight possessions to win the game. The final sequence, the Suns led by 3 with just 6 seconds left!, but Wemby got a putback jam off a missed three and then the Spurs Keldon Johnson stole the ball from Kevin Durant off the inbounds (“I should have held onto it” was all KD would say about it; while coach Vogel was pissed about lack of foul call) and laid it in with 1.3 seconds left to take the 115-114 lead.
Judge for yourself.
Or from this, of Tre Jones, before Sochan even entered the picture
Kinda looks like a foul but who am I to say.
In the other end, Kevin Durant missed the buzzer beater, and the Spurs had the improbable win, 115-114.
“Every year you lose a couple you should winm, and win a couple you should lose,” Vogel said, after ranting for a bit about the lack of foul calls.
Kevin Durant led the Suns on the night with 26 points and 7 assists. Eric Gordon had 20 and Grayson Allen had 19 but neither scored in the 4th quarter. In fact, only Durant (8) and Jusuf Nurkic (8) after the 8:21 mark.
After a terrible first half, Victor Wembanyama finished with 18 points (9 in the 4th), 8 rebounds and 4 blocks (2 in the 4th). Devin Vassell had 10 in the fourth.
“They made some tough shots,” Eric Gordon said after. The Spurs made 10 second-half threes, and scored 70 points in the second half overall.
The game started early like the Saturday game. Suns took an early 8-0 lead that ballooned to 19 in the second and looked like it would a cakewalk game similar to Saturday’s win over the Jazz. But the Spurs weren’t having any of that, and they came out in the second half playing hard.
At one point early in the fourth quarter, the Spurs energy and hustle (now missing from the Suns themselves) got the Suns lead down to 98-93 and Frank Vogel brought all the starters back in with over 8 minutes left. This game was suddenly looking more like that Lakers game than anyone liked.
The Spurs outscored the Suns 70-51 in the second half. So much for that vaunted Suns D.
Next up: rematch on Thursday right back here.
The Suns came out hot and ready, while the Spurs were just out of the fridge. Suns took an 8-0 lead before the Spurs caught their breath and pulled back into the game, but the Suns kept the lead and took a 27-18 lead after one.
The final score of the quarter was the best, where Kevin Durant (who led all scorers with 10) took Victor Wembanyama one on one into the post and shot a fadeaway swish right over him.
Kevin Durant over Victor Wembanyama at the buzzer pic.twitter.com/nruzyKOcd8— Brendon Kleen (@BrendonKleen14) November 1, 2023
KD vs. Wemby leads to some wild photos pic.twitter.com/cU6Ut1oOmC— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 1, 2023
Suns lead in the second quarter got up to 19 at one point with no-Durant lineup, but that dropped back to 13 on some Spurs threes and Durant came back in with 5 minutes left in the quarter at 50-37. Doug McDermiott is a pro shooter.
Still, it’s been a good quarter for the bench. Nassir Little continues to make a name for himself, draining his only two threes, along with 2 rebounds and an assist, while Yuta Watanabe scored 5 points with 3 rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Suns ended up 63-45 at halftime, just dominating in every aspect of the game.
Team stat comps (Suns/Spurs):
- FG: 52% vs 37%
- Threes: 10/20 vs. 5/17
- Rebs: 25 vs. 18
- Steals: 5 vs. 5
- Assists: 18 vs. 10
- Suns: Grayson Allen (16/4/2), Gordon (14/3), Durant (14/2/1)
- Spurs: K Johnson (9/1), Sochan (8/4/2), Wembanyama (6/4/1)
The Suns started the second half with some real crisp ball movement to get Okogie a shot at a lineup, get fouled and make some free throws. Good aggression.
Early in the third, Wemby made his first shot — a three after starting 1-6 from the field, 0-3 on threes. Maybe he’ll pick it up this second half. Josh Okogie quickly went back down and drew a foul off a Wemby body check on a drive.
As the third quarter unfolded it became clear the Suns starters took their foot off the gas at halftime, and allowed the Spurs to hustle back into the game. Luckily for them the three was falling (6-9 in the first 11 minutes of the quarter) so the lead remained in the 15-point range despite the team hustle was missing.
In the last minute of the quarter, a 16-point lead dropped to 13 on a Devin Vassell step-aside three and could have been worse when they late-trapped KD at the mid-line and he threw a turnover, but the Spurs missed the buzzer shot.
Suns up 95-82 after three. I think the plan was to sit KD in the fourth like last Saturday, but now that’s looking a bit suspect. Let’s see how the bench mob do.
Leaders after three: Gordon 20, Allen 19, KD 18 (team leading 7 assists). Watanabe and Okogie up to 11 each.
The fourth quarter did not start well for the benchie Suns. Within three and a half minutes, the lead was down to 98-93 — FIVE POINTS — on a Spurs 11-3 run as Frank Vogel calls a timeout and 8:22 left.
Starters re-engaged — much earlier than anyone wanted. Probably hoping to get this back to 13+ plus before the 3 minute mark?
That didn’t quite work. San Antonio still had their juice and the Suns starters didn’t, except for Durant. It was still a three-point game with 2:33 to go on a Devin Vassell three, 110-107.
Durant’s only scoring help in this run, surprisingly, was Jusuf Nurkic with 8 points. Durant had 6 to help keep a 112-107 lead with 2:24 to play. They have all 14 Suns points since the starters returned with over 8 minutes left.
And then the shit happened. The Suns could not control the ball, and the Spurs not only got a putback Wemby dunk to pull within one, and THEN stole the inbounds and TOOK THE LEAD, 115-114 with only 1.2 seconds left.
Suns lose, 115-114.