San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns Pick & Prediction MARCH 25th 2024

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The Phoenix Suns look to stay above the Western Conference play-in line when they visit the San Antonio Spurs on Monday in the second of two games in three nights between the teams.

The Suns (42-29) easily won the first game of the set 131-106 Saturday as Devin Booker (32 points) and Kevin Durant (25) combined for 57 points in just three quarters.

Phoenix led throughout and by as many as 32 points while winning its third straight game and jumping into sixth place in the Western Conference.

Bradley Beal added 13 points and 12 assists for the Suns. Bol Bol scored 13 points, Eric Gordon 12 and Drew Eubanks 10, and Jusuf Nurkic grabbed 10 rebounds.

“It’s great — that’s what you want when you get an early lead, to keep your foot on the gas, play the third quarter the way we did, go for a knockout punch,” Phoenix coach Frank Vogel said. “We just played a really solid 48 minutes.”

The Suns outscored the Spurs 38-24 in the third.

The Suns can hardly afford to take San Antonio lightly, as they have toughest remaining schedule in the West, based on their opponents’ winning percentage. After Monday, Phoenix faces 10 consecutive playoff-bound teams.

The Suns are a season-best 13 games above .500.

“This is what we have been working for and toward all season,” Booker said. “I think the timing is right. It’s the meat of the season, and it’s time to lock in and get prepared for postseason.”

Meanwhile, the Spurs (15-56) continue to stumble toward the finish line. Their loss Saturday to Phoenix was their third straight and the sixth in their past seven games.

Keldon Johnson led San Antonio with 14 points while Victor Wembanyama had 13, Blake Wesley 12, Zach Collins and Sandro Mamukelashvili 11 each, and Tre Jones 10.

“They did the best they could,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “We had a little more contact and physicality in the second half, but you’re not going to stop (Booker) and (Durant) from doing what they’re doing, and (Beal) is healthy now.

“That’s a pretty tough trio. Our guys did everything they could, and you move on.”

San Antonio, the last-place team in the West and already eliminated from the postseason, has gone 1-6 to start its season-high eight-game homestand.

The Spurs must win six of their final 11 contests to avoid matching the franchise’s all-time worst record of 20-62 set in 1996-97. Eight of San Antonio’s remaining games are against teams in line for the postseason.

“We just have to take care of the ball better as a team,” Johnson said. “We’re capable of doing that, and we’ve showed that this year. We just need to build consistency.”

–Field Level Media

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