Aldridge, Spurs hand Suns their most one-sided loss ever
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By BOB BAUM
PHOENIX (AP) The San Antonio Spurs opened their long, annual "rodeo road trip" with one of the biggest routs in the team's history.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 23 points in 28 minutes and the San Antonio Spurs demolished Phoenix 129-81 on Wednesday night.
The 48-point blowout matched the most one-sided loss in Suns history - set against Portland in this season's opener - and was the third-largest margin of victory for San Antonio.
Only a 51-point Spurs win at Philadelphia on Dec. 7, 2015, and a 49-point blowout of Vancouver on Nov. 5, 1995 were bigger.
"We made shots," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "You make shots, things get easy."
Alex Len scored 14 for the Suns, who shot 34 percent from the field and were 3-of-32 on 3-pointers.
"I think it was an embarrassment for all of us out here tonight," veteran Jared Dudley said. "I think the fans definitely earned an apology for the display. It's definitely unexcusable."
But Popovich thought the Suns did have some mitigating factors.
"Suns' didn't have all their bodies," he said. "You got to have your bodies at this level or it is tough. To have the guys that they have out really hurts."
Phoenix was without leading scorer Devin Booker for the second game in a row due to a hip pointer. Center Tyson Chandler missed the game with a sore neck and Tyler Ulis left with back spasms in the first half.
"We are, I think, obviously undermanned and they just walked all over us," Phoenix interim coach Jay Triano said. "They're a veteran team, they play well and we had no answer."
The Spurs never trailed against a Suns team that has lost four straight and nine of 10. Phoenix's 38 losses are the most in the NBA.
San Antonio dominated from the opening tip and led 69-31 at the half. The 38-point margin was the largest halftime lead for the Spurs against a team in their history. Phoenix never got any closer than 36 points in the second half and trailed by as many as 53 in the fourth quarter.
The Suns averted a 50-point loss with Danuel House's dunk on a fastbreak lob pass with six seconds to play.
"Guys made shots, the ball moved and guys competed on defense," Aldridge said, "so hopefully it will carry over."
The level of competition will go up in a hurry. The Spurs play at Golden State Saturday night.
Spurs: The "rodeo road trip" occurs when the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo takes over the AT&T Center. ... San Antonio swept the season series with Phoenix 4-0 and has won 13 of the last 14 meetings. ... Spurs won't play at home again until Feb. 28 (against New Orleans). ... The center Bertans got his fifth start of the season, replacing Pao Gasol. ... San Antonio will travel 6,546 miles on their annual "rodeo trip." Spurs have been taking the trip every year since 2003.
Suns: In the 49 seasons before this one, the Suns' biggest loss was by 44 points. ... Phoenix started a lineup with the ages 24, 21, 20, 21 and 22. ... Suns are 3-9 without Booker this season. ... With Booker and Ulis hurt, Josh Gray - called up last week from the G-League's Northern Arizona Suns - was the team's' lone healthy point guard.
Spurs: at Golden State Warriors Saturday night.
Suns: host Denver Nuggets Saturday night.
Updated February 8, 2018