Moore, short-handed Suns hold off Spurs 123-121


SAN ANTONIO — E’Twaun Moore scored 22 points and made a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining that lifted the Phoenix Suns past the San Antonio Spurs 123-121 on Sunday and kept alive their chances at the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.

Playing without Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the Suns were bailed out late by Moore, who also made a 3 with 1:08 remaining to stop a 9-0 run by San Antonio.

Keita Bates-Diop tipped in a missed free throw by Tre Jones to put San Antonio ahead 121-120 with 10 seconds left, setting up Moore’s winning 26-footer.

Utah could secure the top seed in the West with a win over Sacramento on Sunday night, but the Suns would get the top seed if the Jazz lose because Phoenix swept the season series from Utah.

The Suns rested their All-Star backcourt of Booker and Paul for in the final regular-season game for both teams. Phoenix was also without starting center Deandre Ayton, who missed his third straight game with a sore left knee.

Phoenix still closed the season by winning three straight and nine of 12.

The Suns had eight players score in double figures, including 54 points from their reserves. Jevon Carter and Cameron Payne, who started in the backcourt, had 19 points each.

San Antonio will play either Memphis or Golden State on Wednesday in the postseason play-in tournament. The Grizzlies and Warriors were playing Sunday with the winner earning the eighth seed and the loser falling to ninth and hosting the 10th-place Spurs.

DeMar DeRozan had 23 points to lead San Antonio, which closed the season by losing four straight and 10 of 12. Jakob Poeltl added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Bates-Diop had nine points in 12 minutes.

DeRozan, Poeltl, Dejounte Murray and Rudy Gay all returned after missing Saturday’s 140-103 loss to the Suns for rest.

Phoenix entered the second half trailing 61-52, but Carter had 13 points in the quarter, guiding the Suns to an 80-74 lead with 3:39 remaining in the third.


Suns: At age 36, Paul played in all but two games in his 16th season. Before Sunday, his only other absence was Feb. 8 due to a sore right hamstring. … Booker closed the season averaging 25.6 points per game, marking the fifth consecutive year he has averaged 22-plus. Since averaging 13.1 points in his rookie season, Booker has averaged 25.1 points. … Ayton missed the final three games of the season after playing in every contest prior. He averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds compared to 18.2 points and 11.5 rebounds last season, but played in 31 more games this season.

Spurs: Patty Mills was rested after making his first start of the season Saturday. … Lonnie Walker IV had nine points in 27 minutes after being listed as questionable with a sore left quadriceps. Walker and teammate Drew Eubanks collided in the first quarter on Saturday, but Walker returned to finish that game.

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