The San Antonio Spurs were finally able to get back into the win column today and ended their six-game losing streak with a convincing win over the Phoenix Suns in front of a sellout crowd at the AT&T Center.
George Hill was the difference-maker for the Spurs and he was key in getting the Spurs out to an early lead.
Hill entered the game midway through the first quarter with the Spurs down by one and went to work immediately, leading the Spurs on a 14-2 run by attacking the paint, getting to the line and knocking down a pair of three-pointers all for 16 points in the first quarter alone.
"When (Hill) comes off the bench and he gives what Manu used to give us coming off the bench, it really helps our group. I thought he did that very well today," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said
By the end of the quarter, the Spurs had built up a 15-point lead, 35-20, which forced the Suns to play catchup for the rest of the game.
The Spurs kept the same pace to start the second quarter by scoring the first five points. The threes started falling shortly after, with Gary Neal, Hill and Matt Bonner all hitting from beyond the arch. To add to the insult, Tiago Splitter finished off a mini-run with a dunk.
The Suns answered back with a 10-2 run of their own, but the tides turned in the Spurs favor when Hill re-entered the game for Richard Jefferson and immediately knocked down a three-pointer and then ended the quarter with a jumper at the buzzer, sending the Spurs into the locker room at the half up 70-46.
While the Suns tried to fight back the remainder of the game by outscoring the Spurs in the third and fourth quarter, it was too late and the Spurs secured the win with one more rally early in the fourth.
Hill lead both teams in scoring with 29 points, crucial in a game where the big three all failed to score in double digits.
In our most recent recording of the Spurscast, which will go up tomorrow, we addressed the need for Hill play as aggressively as he did when he was starting, likely a message he heard before today's game.
"(Hill) needs to be aggressive, especially coming off the bench," Spurs guard Tony Parker said. "Tonight he was great, being very aggressive, shooting the ball very well, playing great defense. He did everything tonight."