Suns Rising

During their decade-long run as the NBA's model franchise, the San Antonio Spurs seemed like they often could flip a switch once the playoffs began. With the way they've looked lately, just getting there might be an issue.

The Spurs (28-16) look to avoid their first four-game losing streak in more than four years on Thursday when they continue their nine-game road trip against the Phoenix Suns, who are looking for their eighth win in nine games.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Phoenix –7.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 201 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 75% of bets for this game have been placed on Phoenix –7.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

San Antonio was the third seed in the Western Conference in last year's playoffs, but got the best of the favored Suns in the conference semifinals, winning the series in six games en route to its fourth NBA title in nine seasons.

Things started off well enough for the Spurs in 2007-08, as they opened 17-3 and looked every bit like the defending champions. But since Dec. 11, San Antonio is just 11-13, and has dropped three straight games.

They haven't lost four consecutive games since Nov. 28-Dec. 3, 2003.

"We're not playing good," guard Manu Ginobili said. "The worst part is with the kind of record we have now and the way we're playing, I don't see that we're playing with a sense of urgency. You need to play every game like it's Game 7 of the finals and we're not."

As the Spurs have struggled - they are just 8-11 on the road - Southwest Division rivals Dallas and New Orleans have pulled ahead of the defending champs. Just eight games separate the best team in the Western Conference from the worst, and the Spurs have fallen to the sixth seed.

Injuries have played a part in San Antonio's inconsistency. Ginobili and Tim Duncan have missed time as has Tony Parker, who sat out Tuesday's 88-85 loss at Seattle to rest a bone spur in his left heel.

Parker, averaging 19.2 points and 6.1 assists, won't play in Phoenix and there is no timetable for his return. San Antonio, also missing 3-point specialist Brent Barry (calf), is 1-4 without Parker in the lineup this season.

"They're going to come in wounded and desperate and needing a win and so that's probably when they're the most dangerous," said Suns coach Mike D'Antoni. "We know that at the end of the year they'll be right there with the best teams and you've got to go through them, they're the champs."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was not about to use Parker's absence as an excuse for the his team's loss Tuesday to the lowly SuperSonics, who ended a 14-game losing streak.

"That's irrelevant. That had nothing to do with it," Popovich said. "Teams lose guys and have nicks all the time. The Sonics played the Spurs and the Sonics won. That's the bottom line."

With Parker missing due to a sprained ankle on Dec. 17, Phoenix (33-13) won 100-95 at San Antonio despite Duncan's 36 points.

It was the Suns' first regular-season win in San Antonio in eight tries, and it came in the teams' first meeting since Phoenix had its season ended by the Spurs in May.

Not that revenge was a motivating factor.

"A win is a win, it doesn't matter if it's the Spurs or any other team," Suns forward Shawn Marion said at the time.

The Suns have won three straight and seven of eight, including a 125-92 rout of Atlanta on Tuesday - their most lopsided victory this season.

Amare Stoudemire has been on a tear for Phoenix, averaging 25.8 points in the last four games while shooting 72.7 percent from the field.

Stoudemire is shooting a career-best 59.5 percent this season, one of the top five marks in the NBA.

By: Marc Young - - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Will Fox be a top-5 pick? With the 2017 NBA Drafttakes place later tonight. Where can we expect one of the top prospects, De’Aaron Fox, to land tonight?
Thumbnail Fultz to go to the 76ers? The Boston Celticshave traded out of the No. 1 pick. The Philadelphia 76ersnow hold the top pick once again. Is it a slam dunk who they will take in the NBA...
Thumbnail 2018 NBA Finals Odds After dominating the 2017 NBA Playoffs, will anyone keep the Golden State Warriors from winning the NBA Finals again...
Thumbnail Stephen Curry Game 5 Props Will Stephen Curry bounce back from a poor showing in Game 4 when the Golden State Warriors host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight at 9PM...
Thumbnail Will James get another triple-double? Will LeBron James add to his NBA Finals record of nine triple-doubles when the Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals...

NBA Headlines

  • BOSTON (AP) The Boston Celtics have selected forward Jayson Tatum with the No. 3 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.
    The selection comes after the Celtics traded the top pick to Philadel...
  • PHOENIX (AP) The Phoenix Suns selected small forward Josh Jackson of Kansas with the fourth overall pick of the NBA draft Thursday.
    Jackson brings athleticism, energy and a strong defensive a...
  • SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento Kings selected Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox on Thursday night with the fifth pick in the NBA draft.
    Sacramento had a glaring need for a point guard...
  • MILWAUKEE (AP) Milwaukee Bucks center Greg Monroe has exercised his $17.8 million player option to stay with the team for 2017-18.
    The 6-foot-11 Monroe had until Thursday night to make his de...
  • NEW YORK (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers selected guard Markelle Fultz on Thursday night with the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
    The Los Angeles Lakers followed by taking Lonzo Ball as the draft st...

NBA Team Pages