Forbes' double-double fuels Spurs by Suns 111-86
By RAUL DOMINGUEZ, Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Bryn Forbes was happy to finally earn the first double-double of his basketball career, and even happier that it came in another San Antonio Spurs victory grounded in defense.
Forbes had a season-high 24 points and a career-best 11 rebounds as the Spurs beat the Phoenix Suns 111-86 on Tuesday night.
Since his days on the playground in elementary school until now, Forbes never had a double-double, and the odds of accomplishing it weren’t great. Generously listed at 6 foot 3, his previous career-high in rebounds was five, but he surpassed that in the third quarter.
‘That’s important to me,” Forbes said. “I’ve been playing my whole life and to accomplish something I’ve never accomplished is always pretty cool, but to get the win was bigger. We needed this win worse than I needed a double-double.”
The Spurs held the Suns to a season-low output for an opponent, two weeks after a four-game stretch in which three opponents beat them by 30-plus points.
San Antonio has won three straight halfway through a six-game homestand. The Spurs, who were allowing 113.3 points per game, have limited their opponents to 101 points during their winning streak.
“It was the third game in a row where everyone was involved and played the way that we wanted to play,” San Antonio guard Patty Mills said. “The emotion is there. The feeling that everyone is contributing to a win like that is good for everyone involved.”
The Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points in 25 minutes. He sat out the fourth quarter with San Antonio leading by as many as 25 points.
Phoenix, which was without leading scorer Devin Booker and Jamal Crawford, never led while dropping its 10th straight game and falling to 4-24. Suns coach Igor Kokoskov also opted to rest Trevor Ariza after losing in overtime to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
“Extremely tough, you couldn’t even imagine,” Kokoskov said of being without his veterans. “When you’re coaching the game, you feel like you’re coaching summer league because you have backups. We have a bunch of young guys, so it’s extremely tough.”
T.J. Warren led the Suns with 23 points and De’Anthony Melton added 17. Rookie DeAndre Ayton was the only other Phoenix player in double figures, scoring 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
DeMar DeRozan was held to a season-low five points, but the 6-foot-7 guard attempted just six shots as he set up his teammates. DeRozan had eight of his nine assists in the first half, setting up six 3-point shots by drawing the defense into the lane on his drives.
“That’s what makes great players,” Mills said. “I think that’s also the way of making sure that everyone on the floor is involved. I guess in a sense it’s the weapons that we have on the team. He can go for five points and nine assists and have other people step up on any given night and tonight it was Bryn.”
Four of DeRozan’s assists in the first half were to Forbes.
An undrafted free agent out of Michigan State, Forbes matched a career high with five 3-pointers.
“I’ve been off for a little bit the last couple of games, so it was good to see them go back in,” Forbes said. “But DeMar, Rudy, those guys, made the game easy. They found me wide open because people were doubling them.”
San Antonio finished 13 for 21 on 3-pointers, falling one shy of matching their season-high for 3s.
Suns: Booker missed his fifth straight game with a strained left hamstring. Booker suffered the injuring trying to save possession on a ball going out of bounds against the Lakers on Dec. 2. . Phoenix has had eight different players lead the team in game scoring this season. . Warren’s season high is 29 points, which he set Nov. 8 against Boston.
Spurs: DeRozan’s eight assists in the first half were the second-most he has had in any half in his career. DeRozan had 10 assists and 30 points in the second half against Portland on Feb. 1, 2014. . Forbes has scored in double figures in 21 games this season, the most by an undrafted player. Robert Covington, Wesley Matthews and Justin Holiday and Rodney McGruder all have 17 games in double figures.
Suns: Host Dallas on Thursday night.
Spurs: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports