Listening To Reason

random musings about technologies by Andy Norris

23 April 2008

Spurs-Suns Game 2 Game Blog

My dad is currently in the Adriatic on a cruise, so in game 1, I gave him play by play of the last 2 minutes -- and then again for the last 2 minutes of each overtime. It was a lot of fun, but international minutes are pricey, and starting time for game was about 3:30 in the morning there, so he asked me to send him an email instead. So I decided to keep a live game blog and ship off the result.

I didn't start until the second quarter, after Tucker went to bed. Hope it's not too big a problem that this is kinda huge.

First Quarter

The Spurs can't buy a shot. Amare can't miss from range, which is getting them plenty of points and also opening up some easy shots for Shaq. Nash is making some beautiful passes. Ginobili gets the call early, but it seems to take him a few minutes to get warmed up. Suns open up a 14 point lead at one point, but the Spurs bring it back to 35-26 at the quarter mark, with some nice drives by Tony.

Second Quarter

Manu is on fire! 15 points after 12 minutes on the court. 6-9 from the field with 2 daggers from 3 and a beautiful breakaway dunk -- he had time to make a taco run before the Suns would have caught up with him.

The Suns regain the momentum after Ginobili takes a breather, and run the lead back up to 44-34 with a 6-0 run. Both Oberto and Thomas have 2 early fouls, so we could see the Red Rocket if they can't keep the fouls under control.

Halfway through the 2nd, Barry hits a 3, for the first points of the game not scored by Duncan, Parker, or Ginobili. Ouch. So much for the Red Rocket -- Big Shot Bob is on the court! Beautiful teardrop by Tony -- 11 points. Nash is unreal -- 7 assists already, and he's creating some awesome shots -- Phoenix is shooting 64%! Beautiful rejection of Shaq by Horry leads to a textbook second-chance layup by Timmy -- Suns call time with 3:11 left at 52-46. The Big Fundamental's already got 13 and 8. Amare has freakin' 20 already, going 9 of 11. Ack!

Shaq just got 11 -- their big men are killing us. 56-46 at the 2-minute mark. Time to make a run. Oh shit -- Shaq plowed right into Tony while Tony was running full-speed at the basket. Damn, that's got to hurt. He's up and shooting his FTs, but that was a brutal collision. Makes them both -- sweet!

Beautiful pair of passes plus an and-one makes it 59, then another teardrop by Tony answers it. Beautiful Manu penetration, where he clears space with a beautiful spin move and makes a jumper from just inside the free throw line. Travel on Barbosa on what would have been the last play, and the Spurs get it back with 6.8 seconds, but Ginobili can't convert the long foot-on-the-line 2 pointer. 61-54 at the half.

Could be worse, but we have to do a better job of taking away the passing lanes and making them take tougher shots in the second half. They shot 61% on the half.

Third Quarter

Finley makes 2 quick baskets, and suddenly it's 61-58 to kick off the quarter. Sweet -- a 24-second violation on Phoenix. Finley scores again, and it's 61 all, with the Spurs on an 11-0 run dating back to the 2nd. Bell does a nice job to draw a charge on Tony. KT picks up his third foul defending Shaq, but the Big Brick can't make either one. Tim draws Shaq's second on some pathetic pick and roll defense. Crap -- Timmy misses 2 from the line. Still 61 all. Tony strips Shaq, but they can't convert yet again. Long scoring drought. Beautiful Bowen pass to Finley on the cut gives the Spurs their first lead!

Suns call time and regroup. 5 minutes into the quarter, and they don't have a point yet.

Spurs smother the pick and roll and Nash has to kick it out for a desperation 3 as the shot clock runs down. No good. Ginobili for a long 2! Nash finally gets a nice pull-up jumper to break their drought. Shaq goes out for Diaw, Duncan goes out for Udoka -- small ball. Great pursuit on defense gets a slick turnover. Nice second-chance hustle layup for Udoka. Another Suns TO leads to a fast break, foul on Diaw sends Udoka to the line. Udoka hits them both to take it to 69-63. Duncan's back on the court, gets the rebound on a crappy Suns shot 5 seconds into the shot clock to start the break. Ginobili to Udoka for the finish! Suns call time. 17-2 Spurs on the quarter. Doesn't get any better than that!

The Suns came into this game still confident that they were the better team in this series and that they should have won the first one, but it looks like they're living through their worst nightmare out there. They seem to be remembering that the Spurs completely own them in the playoffs, and falling apart accordingly.

Suns manage to regroup after the timeout and Shaq gets 2 quick baskets. 71-67. Scramble for the ball on the next Suns possession, Ginobili and Barbosa go to the floor, Shaq picks up his 3rd foul. Sick play -- Ginobili goes over Shaq, it doesn't drop, Timmy follows him and finishes at the basket -- beautiful. Spurs are intentionally fouling Shaq, but I don't think it's helping. 75-70. Sick fullcourt pass, Duncan to Udoka. Shaq 5 of 6 from the line on the intentional fouls. Time to give it up. Ginobili makes 2 from the line, 79-72. Final seconds, Spurs ball, Bell commits wrong early and grabs Ginobili to send him to the line. Manu hits them both, Suns can't convert with 6.1 left and a contested 3 from Giricek.

81-72 at the end of the quarter. Looking good, knock on wood.

Ginobili with 24, Parker with 22 points, 5 assists, 3 steals, Duncan with 15, 16, 4 assists and 3 blocks. 48% from the field, 3 of 8 from behind the arc, 15 of 20 from the line.

Amare 25 and 4, Shaq 18 and 8 with 4 blocks, Nash 12 and 9 assists. 49% from the field, just 2 of 7 from the arc, 10 of 15 from the line.

Fourth Quarter

Amare gets fouled by Manu, and converts 1 of 2. Ginobili with a huge 3! 11 point lead! Phoenix calls time only 40 seconds into the 4th. Suns can't box out for crap. Oberto reels in the second chance on a poorly set Bowen 3, and Parker drives it home with the teardrop.

Another steal by Parker. Spurs are moving the ball incredibly well, and the Suns have nowhere to go with the ball right now. ESPN's David Aldridge is basically laughing at the Suns on voiceover for giving away Kurt Thomas. Shaq misses 2 from the line, and Parker takes it to the hole yet again. 90-73, and the Suns look lost like someone dropped acid in their Gatorade.

Suns try to get it together by pushing the ball harder, but it looks sloppy. Stoudemire gets to the line for 2, though. Beautiful pullup by Parker at the line. 94-77. Beautiful screen sets up an easy Nash 3.

Stoudemire misses on a good look near the free-throw line. He hasn't made a shot from the field in the second half. Spurs look a little sloppy out there now, like they're ready for it to be garbage time. But there's 6:22 left and even though it's a 13-point game, Phoenix can catch up if the Spurs let them back in.

Suns defense has really tightened up. There's a lot of fouls right now. Phoenix has only converted 4 of 10 from the line in the 4th -- can you say choke?

Yet another layup for Parker, who has 30 now. 96-85 with 4 minutes. Fastbreak points: Spurs 23, Suns 3. Wrap your mind around that one. Stoudemire defends Duncan really well on the baby hook near the basket. Bell and Nash convert from the line, and it's 96-89 with 3:16 to play. Spurs need to stop this run. Nash gets a nice pull-up (9 points in the 4th), and it's a 5 point game. Duncan goes to the line on an Amare foul that could have gone either way. Time out, 2:16 to play.

Tim misses the first, makes the second. We need a stop here. Sweet -- Diaw posts up Finley, but he travels. Spurs ball.

Hoooooly fuck. Ginobili penetrates, then flips a behind-the-back pass to Duncan for the easy 6-footer. Nash answers, then Parker hits the long 2 with 5 seconds on the shot clock. Nash misses the long 3. 101-93, Spurs run down the clock. Spurs lose the ball, but it's an 8 point lead with 22 seconds as they go to timeout. I think the fat lady is clearing her throat on this one.

Stats: Spurs +14 in the paint, Suns shoot 27% from the field in the second half.

Amare hits a nice contested 3. 5 point lead, 14.3 to play, Phoenix presses on the inbounds and Duncan calls time. Bell, hard foul on Ginobili, but they don't call the flagrant, which would have been a killer. Ginobili hits 1 of 2. Suns miss 2 3 pointers on their last possession, then Parker dives to the floor and wraps up the ball. Buzzer.

Final score: 102-96.

Now, the Suns are going to go back home and listen to 3 days of criticism from the media about how the whole point of the Shaq trade was to beat the Spurs, and yet here we go again. Spurs just have to make sure they don't lose focus and start thinking ahead to Chris Paul or Kobe.

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