On a night when Paul Pierce scored his 20,000th point, Tim Duncan quietly passed "The Iceman" George Gervin and became the 32nd all time scorer in NBA history. Duncan did so in high fashion as he helped the Spurs drop the Suns with 25 points and 17 rebounds, both of which were season highs.
It was a back and forth contest with the Spurs narrowly escaping with a two-point win, 112-110. Four fourth quarter threes by Richard Jefferson helped seal the win. Jefferson's 28 points was his second highest scoring performance as Spur. He put up 29 points against Dallas last season. Since coming to the Spurs via trade in 2009, the Spurs are 14-3 when Jefferson shoots 60 percent or better from the field.
Hakim Warrick put up 19 points for the Suns as he mainly ran the pick-and-roll play that Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash made a living off of. Despite Warrick's decent night, the Suns pick-and-roll didn't seem nearly as effective as it did in years past with Stoudemire. That play, along with Goran Dragic refusing to miss a shot, helped the Suns sweep the Spurs in last year's playoffs. Without Stoudemire, the Suns are undersized and don't look like contenders in the Western Conference as they drop to 1-3.
The Spurs are now 3-1, due in part to the solid play from the Spurs youthful bench. Three rookies, James Anderson, Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter, have proven they can fit in the Spurs rotation with relative ease. Neal, who lit up the summer league after years of trying to make the NBA, looks as though he may be the Spurs next staple behind the three point line as he is shooting 42 percent from three. He is also averaging 6.5 points in 12 minutes of play this season.
The Spurs return home after two games on the road to face the in-state rival Houston Rockets this Saturday.