SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs have refused to pay attention to the standings or any other team over the past month and a half, instead focusing on their own game.
The rest of the Western Conference better be paying attention to the surging Spurs.
San Antonio moved into second place in the Western Conference and took a half-game lead over idle Memphis in the Southwest Division.
"We are just going to play the games," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Wherever we end up, that's what we'll do. We can only control our game."
And that has resulted in the defending champions winning 21 of 24 games to vault up the standings.
The Spurs, who appeared in danger of missing the playoffs after going 4-5 on their annual Rodeo Road Trip in February, are primed to host a first-round series.
"I had a headache last night trying to figure out who I wanted to win or lose, or what I want the outcome of the game to be," Duncan said. "I actually sent a message to Tony (Parker) to try to figure it out, because he always knows. So, we're just going to try to win our games and whatever comes out of it comes out of it."
Gerald Green had 23 points and Eric Bledsoe added 20 points and 10 assists for Phoenix, which was limited to eight players. Eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday night, the Suns have lost four straight and nine of 10 to drop to 39-42.
"We just play hard," Bledsoe said. "That's the least we can do these last couple of games, come out and play hard and try to give teams a fight."
The Spurs struggled against the short-handed Suns, failing to make a basket for 4:20 bridging the first and second quarters. They never relinquished their lead, however, and responded by going on a 15-6 run in taking a 38-24 lead midway through the second quarter.
Duncan, who turns 39 on April 25, helped spark San Antonio by diving into the stands for a loose ball in the first half.
"(Duncan getting injured) was not a concern, it was just admiration," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "Just the fact that after the tough week we had, you know he worked a lot this week. Starting the game and doing those types of things really helps to get us all going."
Duncan is ready for the playoffs.
"He always seems to get excited this time of year," Popovich said. "He is steady all year long and then raises it to even another level when this time of year comes. It's remarkable on his part."
RIFLING THE RIFLEMAN
Spurs guard Danny Green had three 3-pointers, setting a franchise record for most 3-pointers in a season at 191. "The Rifleman," Chuck Person, held the previous record with 190 in 1996. Green finished with 12 points while shooting 3 for 6 on 3-pointers.
"Both unbelievably great shooters in their time," Duncan said. "Danny is really coming into his own now. He is comfortable in his role and what he has to do and what he is allowed to do."
The Suns were assessed a technical foul at the start of the second quarter because G Jerel McNeal was not listed on their active roster. McNeal, who was signed for the remainder of the season Saturday after completing a 10-day contract, entered the game with 2:24 remaining in the first quarter in place of Bledsoe. He played the remainder of the period before the error was caught prior to the start of the second quarter. Because McNeal wasn't listed on the roster, the statisticians initially listed Brandon Knight as the player who entered the game but later gave McNeal credit. McNeal missed his only field goal attempt.
TIP-INS Suns: G Knight (left ankle sprain), G Reggie Bullock (concussion) and G Marcus Thornton (left ankle) missed the game. ... The Suns lost their final six road games to finish the season 17-24 away from home. ... Phoenix is 10-16 since trading point guards Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic on Feb. 19.
Spurs: San Antonio C Tiago Splitter (tightness, right calf) missed his fifth straight game, but his absence was precautionary. Popovich said Splitter "probably would play" if Sunday was a playoff game. ... ... F/C Matt Bonner (tightness, right calf) missed his fourth game of the season due to injury.
Suns: Host Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
Spurs: Visit New Orleans on Wednesday night.
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