Archive for May 6th, 2010
Los Suns pulled away in the fourth quarter in their 110-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The best-of-7 game series now moves to San Antonio with an unprecedented situation in the Tim Duncan-Steve Nash era: the Suns are leading the series 2-0. These two victories at home might very well prove the Phoenix Suns that against all odds, they can make it to the Conference Finals.
The Spurs are Steve Nash’s worst nightmare. Every one of the six seasons when the Spurs faced the Suns in the playoffs, it has been Nash and the Suns who got sent home. But things are finally looking brighter for the veteran player. He has been quarterbacking his team to some great performances. Amar’e Stoudemire scored 23 points and recorded 11 boards while Channing Frye completed 5 of 6 3-pointers.
The Suns were tailing for most of the game. Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs were setting up a strong pace in the first two quarters. The Spurs big three, Tim Duncan, Richard Jefferson, and Tony Parker had a good game. Consider Duncan’s 29 points and 10 rebounds; Jefferson’s 18 points and 10 boards; and Parkers 20 points, and you will see they had a good game. But it just wasn’t enough to pass over Los Suns.
The Suns were having a slow start. They couldn’t complete most of their shots from outside the perimeter. They began the game with a dismal 1-7 from the 3 point range. But then things clicked in. They completed 8 of their next 12, some in the crucial 3rd quarter, were the Suns finally got a chance to leave the Spurs behind.
Manu Ginobili, the Argentinean star, could not get pass Grant Hill’s man-on-man defense. He was 2-8 from the field. Hill’s persistence and his ability to stick around in the perimeter no matter what Manu tried to do to get rid of him paid out in the second half. Hill neutralized Ginobili to only 1-2 in the final 2 quarters.
It was in the rebounds that the Phoenix took its advantage. The Spurs were more accurate from the paint, shooting for 51% (vs. the Suns 42%), but the 49 rebounds completed by the Suns certainly made a difference. The Suns completed 12 more rebounds in the whole game, and 9 more on the offensive boards. Los Suns were up by mere 2 point starting the fourth quarter. And then the backups came in. They were able to keep the winning margin, and also, give Steve Nash the 6-minute rest that head coach Alvin Gentry believes key-to a good performance in the closing minutes. And that was it: the Suns lead the series and might still be a good pick in the Odds to win the NBA Championship.