Suns give Spurs a run for their money, but fall short in the end

Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin (20) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Kyle Anderson in the second quarter during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Phoenix Suns guard Archie Goodwin (20) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Kyle Anderson in the second quarter during an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Phoenix Suns played one of their best games all season in a 118-111 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.  Alex Len had a career night, but the Suns dug themselves an early hole that they never could climb out of.

In our last podcast, Charlie mentioned that his payer to watch was LeMarcus Aldridge.  Aldridge had a strong showing with 19 points, 10 rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal.  Tony Parker showed that he still has some fuel left in the tank as he was able to drive to the basket and hit some outside shots for a total of 22 points along with two rebounds and four assists.

Patty Mills was a difference maker for the Spurs.  His 21 points, three rebounds, and five assists were the difference in the game.  The Suns hung around for most of the game, but since Mills had such a strong game the Suns could not prevail.

The Suns played with the starting lineup a bit tonight.  Tyson Chandler injured his shoulder in the second quarter of the game against Houston, so Len started in his place.  Recently acquired forward Kris Humphries also started over Jon Leuer or Mirza Teletovic.  Devin Booker and P.J. Tucker started as usual, but the backcourt had a bit of a shake up with Ronnie Price starting over Archie Goodwin.  Price played well with 11 points, a rebound, three assists, and a block.  He looks to have healed from his injury fairly well.

Every active player on the Phoenix roster had at least six points tonight (thank to Charlie for pointing that out).  It was a total team effort that resulted in a close, entertaining game.

Which Suns Shone the Brightest?

1. Alex Len – Len had a career high 23 points and 13 rebounds.  He also shot 5-5 from the free throw line.  He stepped into the starting center role nicely.  This performance is what gives me hope for this team in the future. Len is not quite done developing, but he sure looked solid tonight.  He was tenacious on the boards, including on the offensive end where he picked up five of his 13 rebounds.  He had some powerful dunks and also hit some nice jumpers from mid-range.  Congratulations to Alex Len on the career night!

2. Jon Leuer – Leuer was a solid option of the second unit tonight.  He finished with 13 points on 5-7 shooting and added seven rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal.  His minutes have been inconsistent lately, but when he plays the way he did tonight he gives the team a huge lift.  Leuer, Teletovic, and Humphries are not flashy players, but they can all make big differences in games.

The Suns have a quick turnaround as they head to Los Angeles to face the Clippers on Monday, February 21 at 8:30 pm MT.

Mitch Krmpotich

Gonzaga University class of 2016. I'm a longtime college basketball writer and a big NBA fan. I'm also a die hard Broncos, Avalanche, Zags, and Suns fan.

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