Playing without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Gary Neal, the San Antonio Spurs showed their depth as they beat Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns 110-106 on Wednesday night on the road.
Patty Mills scored 27 points and dished out five assists in a starting role, while Tiago Splitter added 26 points and five rebounds off the bench as the depleted Spurs extended their winning streak to nine games and keep their chance of claiming overall homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.
The win also gave the Spurs a shot at winning 50 regular season games for 13 straight seasons with a win tomorrow night.
Sensing that this game could be Nash's last, in a Suns uniform, the fans showed their appreciation.
The crowd stood and chanted "We want Nash" with about 5 minutes to go, leading coach Alvin Gentry to put the 38-year-old point guard in the game for a few plays before removing him to rousing cheers. Nash is a free agent after this season and plans to evaluate what options are open for him this summer.
DeJuan Blair and Kawhi Leonard added 10 points each in San Antonio's 49th win of the season, while Danny Green and Stephen Jackson chipped in nine points apiece.
Shannon Brown led the Suns with 21 points, Sebastian Telfair scored 20, Michael Redd added 14 and Nash finished with eight points and seven assists in a losing cause.
Spurs rookie Cory Joseph, who was called up from the Austin Toros had nine points, three assists and two steals in 24 minutes of action, while newly recruit Derrick Bryars had two points and three rebounds in four minutes of playing time.
San Antonio can extend their win streak to 10 games, when they play their season finale tomorrow night against the Golden State Warriors.
(AP Photo/Matt York)