SAN ANTONIO —
The first four buckets of the game came in the paint, as both teams went back and forth attacking the rim.
After a possession that stalled in the corner for the Spurs, Dejounte Murray found Derrick White for a catch-and-shoot triple. On the next possession, Murray was left open for three and knocked it down.
Phoenix tied the score at 10, but the Spurs responded with three more baskets in a row right at the cup.
Murray took a dribble handoff from Thad Young, took the open three, and put the Spurs up a touchdown, 21-14. Murray bounced it to Thad for an easy layup and fed it to Bryn Forbes for three, giving San Antonio their first double-digit lead.
Lonnie Walker IV got in on the long-range attack, knocking it down from the corner on a feed from Thad.
JaVale McGee's size gave the Spurs problems in the paint as he was able to score Phoenix's last eight points of the period.
Jakob Poeltl ended the quarter with a driving floater over McGee to put San Antonio in front 33-26.
The Spurs shot 5-10 from three in the first quarter and had assists on 13 of their 14 made baskets.
Phoenix extended their run from the end of the first quarter to 16-6, cutting San Antonio's lead down from 11 to a single point before Pop called time to settle things down.
Dejounte ran pick and roll, went up for a mid-range shot, and at the last moment whipped a pass to Poeltl down low for an easy layup. Phoenix tied the game at 37, but the Spurs answered with a quick pair of buckets. Derrick White dished to a cutting Doug McDermott for a layup, then White missed a three but grabbed the board and kicked it to 18-year-old rookie Josh Primo for a pure triple.
White went for the rack in transition, hit the shot and the free throw. San Antonio's offense sputtered, but the defense was particularly stingy, especially when swiping at entry passes to Deandre Ayton in the paint.
Chris Paul ran pick and roll and repeatedly popped in mid-range buckets over Poeltl on the switch, tying the game at 48. Cam Johnson gave the Suns their first lead since 8-7 with a driving and-1. After a Spurs turnover, Johnson drove and jumped into Derrick White's face elbow first for a foul. Coach Pop challenged with 0.2 left on the clock, and got it right because White went straight up.
Still, Phoenix finished on an 11-1 run to give them a 51-48 lead at the break. San Antonio managed just 1-10 from deep in the second quarter and 5-20 from the floor.
The Suns hit a pair of threes in the second, making them just 2-11 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Jae Crowder scored 10 of the Suns' first 12 points of the half, helping Phoenix build their largest lead of the game at 9 points before a timeout by Pop.
San Antonio struggled with the defensive intensity from Phoenix, and fell behind by as many as 14. They lost Landry Shamet for a wide-open three, then Chris Paul stepped back for a clean triple.
Pop went to the bench in search of answers, throwing out a lineup with Tre Jones, Bryn Forbes, Lonnie Walker IV, Josh Primo and Drew Eubanks. They did a bang-up job, managing to cut Phoenix's lead down from 16 to 9 heading to the fourth.
The Spurs trailed 79-70 with 12 minutes to play.
That lineup was able to continue the comeback effort, and the Spurs roared back to make it a game. By the time the starters for both teams came in, Phoenix was clinging to a six-point lead.
Dejounte Murray came in and made a pair of shots, then found Doug McDermott for a catch-and-shoot three to tie the game at 88. The Suns answered with a three, and then Doug hit a deep one to tie it again.
Chris Paul did too much for San Antonio to handle down the stretch, dropping dimes, hitting tough shots, and even forcing Dejounte Murray to turn it over in transition when the Spurs were down just three with under two minutes to play. Murray and McDermott continued to score, but CP3 iced the game with an and-1 jumper to make it a six-point game with 37 seconds left.
Phoenix won 108-104, dropping the Spurs to 8-14 on the season and ending their season-long winning streak at four games.
The San Antonio Spurs (8-13) will visit the Phoenix Suns (19-4) Monday night as the Spurs will look to build on their four-game winning streak.
In the Spurs' previous game, Derrick White scored 25 points, Dejounte Murray had 22 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio as they helped the team beat the Warriors on the road, 112-107.
Here are five things to watch for in tonight's game:
1. The Spurs are first in the NBA in field goals made at 43.1 per game.
2. The Spurs are last in the league in three-pointers made per game at 9.9.
3. The Suns have won three-straight over San Antonio, but have dropped the last two versus the Spurs in Phoenix.
4. The Spurs have won 10 of the last 11 season series against Phoenix, including three sweeps.
5. The Spurs are 0-6 on the road when trailing after the first period.
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