Suns look to avenge early season loss to Spurs

Feb. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns forward Marcus Morris (15) in the first half at US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 97-87. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Feb. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns forward Marcus Morris (15) in the first half at US Airways Center. The Spurs defeated the Suns 97-87. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

 

With the win-streak now at five games the Suns have a tough challenge Wednesday night as they host a San Antonio Spurs team that beat them in a close contest in early November.

The 19-5 Spurs come into Wednesday night’s game having won the first meeting of the season in a close game that ended with Tony Parker scoring 15 of the last 16 Spurs points to close the Suns out 99-96. The Spurs are coming off a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night. The Suns on the other hand are coming off a big win against the Golden State Warriors to make it five-straight victories; the longest winning streak of the season for the Suns.

Key Matchup:

Goran Dragic versus Tony Parker. Parker single-handedly closed out the Suns in early November; going 7-7 from the field in the fourth quarter and scoring a total of 20 points with six assists. Dragic missed the first game against the Spurs but will have his hands full guarding Parker while trying to create fast break opportunities against a Spurs team that prevented easy fast break chances in the first game.

Key stat:

Fast break points. The Phoenix Suns lead the league in fast-break points per game this season with an average of 19.7 points per game. In their first meeting the Spurs stifled this attack and only allowed 10 fast break points. The Suns will need to play their style of fast-break ball to win Wednesday night.

What the Suns offense needs to look for:

Take smart shots. The Spurs are fourth in the league in opponent points per game at 94.1 points allowed per game; and they are even stingier on the road only allowing an average of 92.3 points per game. In order for the Suns to pull away with a victory, they will have to attack the basket and take smart shots.

What the Suns defense needs to look out for:

Parker, Duncan and Ginóbili. Even though they’re only getting older, the chemistry between these three is unmatched around the league, thus they’re always a cause for concern on the offensive end of the ball. The Suns will have to pick their poison when it comes to shutting them down.

San Antonio Spurs sleeper to have a good game:

Shooting guard Danny Green scored 19 points on 8-11 shooting in the first meeting against the Suns. He went 3-6 from the 3-point line and added five rebounds in 36 minutes of work. He was efficient and on offense and defense as he added four blocks to his total.

Prediction: Suns take advantage of a tired Spurs team and squeak out a close win, 98-92.

Topics: Basketball, Danny Green, Game Previews, Goran Dragic, Manu Ginobili, NBA, Phoenix Suns, Spurs, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker

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