Spurs-Suns Game 3 Live Blog
Really active crowd. Both teams are pumped. The teams start out playing about equally, running it up to 6-6, which is far better than the Spurs have started in the first two games. Parker hits a nice midrange jumper -- if he can keep hitting those, he'll eb unstoppable. He' starts out 4-4, to make it 12-8 -- of course, Nash is "defending" him. Duncan hits a long 2 -- sweet. Slam from Timmy! Spurs are on a run! Parker hits a nice layup of the pick and roll. Only 6 moinutes in, Tony's 5 of 6, with 10 points and 4 assists. Their defense on the Suns has been pretty sharp -- they're holding the Suns to 36%. Spurs 18, Suns 8 when D'Antoni calls time.
Stoudamire and Shaq hit solid baskets coming off the time out, but they're not stopping the Spurs on defense -- whoops, spoke too soon. Nice team defense, forcing Bowen to take a shaky 3 with no time on the shot clock. The next trip down, Manu hits a 3 coming off a screen that just looks easy. Parker drills a 3 shortly thereafter. Diaw hits a midrange jumper, and Pop calls time to yell at Oberto for not bringing the help defense. Still, 27-12. Of course, I doubt the Spurs can keep up the 72% shooting pace.
Suns bust out the 2-3 zone coming off the timeout, but Amare immediately sends TP to the line. Converts 1-2 Hill gets a good look from behind the screen but can't convert it. Parker can't make the long floater land, and the Suns drive back down for an easy layup. Duncan loses his balance on the screen and picks up his second on an offensive foul. He sits. Crap alert: JV intentionally fouls Shaq up 28-16. WTF? Shaq has lane violations on both attempts. Oops. On the other end, Thomas takes an early 20-footer, misses, and we're back on the other end. More Hack-a-Shaq. Yuck. Shaq's 1-2 this time. On the other end, The Big Brick puts a hard foul on Manu in the paint, which gets a Standing O from the pissed Suns crowd. Manu makes them both. Diaw drops in an easy layup,Spurs get it back with 8 seconds or so, beautiful series of passes, JV sets up KT, who takes it to the hole and makes the and-1 with 0.3 remaining.
33-19 at the buzzer. Living large, shooting 61% to the suns 31%. Tony leads the field with a sweet 13-6 (the whole Suns team have 3 dimes), and Kurt Thomas has a surprising 7 points getting a rare start. Stoudemire leads the Suns with 6 points.
Manu shorts the midrange jumper to start the quarter. Barbosa take it hard to the hole and gets the 3-point play. Ginobili makes a great hustle play to save an out-of-bounds ball, but the Spurs can't get a jumper to drop. Barbosa takes it to the hole again. Barry loses the ball out of bounds. Another shot from Barbosa, and it's 35-26. The Suns are on a run, and the zone seems to be working for them. Pop calls the TO.
Oberto with the turnaround J, and the Spurs end their drought. Barbosa is looking great with 10 points. Suns close to 37-31, but the Spurs get the next 4. Bell fouls Finley on the 3, and Findog hits them all.The Spurs seem to have put the Suns run on hold as they go back up by 13. Good defense by both teams for a few possessions. Parker called for traveling, which takes awaw the basket. It's already the Spurs 6th turnover, halfway through the 2nd. Timeout.
Spurs seem to be defending well, then Nash makes a sweet pass to Stoudamire for an easy finish at the basket. Bowen hits the 3. Stoudamire again, after about 4 great passes. Beautiful ball movement. Thomas pisses off the ref and gets T'ed up. Ginobili draws the charge and Diaw sits with his 3rd. Hill comes back in. Parker shorts the jumper from the top of the key, then can't get set in time in transition and fouls Bell to stop the 3 on 1. Bowen then stops the 2-footer to send Shaq to the line for an 0-fer. The ref must still be pissed at Thomas, because he gets called for a really iffy moving screen. Hack a Shaq strikes again. Lane violation on the missed first, but he makes the second. 46-39 with 2:56 to go. Shaq fouls Duncan near the basket -- his second. Duncan will shoot 2 after the commercials.
Stat: Nash is 7-21 lifetime in the playoffs vs. the Spurs. Ouch.
Duncan hits them both. Hill knocks one down. Ginobili takes a jumper from the top of the key, surrounded by 3 Suns, and drops it. Quick Suns miss, and it's Manu to Timmy for the finish at the basket! 20-second TO. Stoudamire drops a nice jumper, Barry responds with the 3. 57-43, inside a minute. JV comes in. More Hack-a-Shaq? Yep, but this time it's Horry. Shaq misses the both, but lane violation on Oberto on the second, and Shaq hits the makeup. Parker takes it to Nash and draws the foul. Two easy points. And they Hack Shaq again. Sigh. Shaq seems to have found his stroke again, and makes them both. Parker can't get it to drop, Amare takes it to the hole with time running out, and Barry gets called for the blocking foul. 4.2 remaining, Amare bricks the first, the second rolls in. Pop calls for the 20 to draw up a quick play. Parker splits tow defenders and hits the floater at the buzzer!
61-47 at the half. If they can stay focused for another half, they can pretty much put the series away. Parker with 19, 3 and 7 on the half, Duncan with 10 and 6, Manu with 9 and 5. Spurs are still shooting 57%, and outrebounding the Suns 23-18, while the Suns are shooting 43%. Spurs are 11-12 on free throws, Suns are 8 of 16, with Shaq 5 of 12. Amare leads the Suns with 15 and 6, Nash is held to 3 points, 4 rebounds on 1 of 4 shooting. Barbosa with 10, Shaq with 9 (5 from the line).
A couple of misses to start the half, Hill lays a solid foul on Tony on a drive, and Tony hits them both. Tony misses the long 2, and Bell gets called for the offensive foul on the other end. Parker hits a sick float with Hill all over him, and converts the foul shot. 19-point lead. Amare draws the foul in the paint, but he can only convert the first. Parker gets surrounded and throws the ball away. Hill hits a nice midrange shot off the screen. Suns have a nic defensive possession, and Tony has to go with a bad look from 3. Duncan hits a great jumper. The Suns are looking sloppy on offense. Duncan hits another 18-footer, Suns call time. Spurs 70-50. It looks like the Suns have started to realize in their guts that things are spinning out of their control. Somebody has to get that team to pull together, or this is going to go in the books as one of the all time great choke jobs. You can hear a pin drop out in the stands about now.
Nash to O'Neal gets the Suns started again. Oberto somehow shorts a 3-footer. Amare finishes at the basket, and the crowd wakes back up from their coma. Parker hits a nice 15-footer off the screen. Shaq somehow misses an uncontested 4-footer while his man is on the ground, but gets it back off some funky bounces, and makes two off a foul by Oberto. Oberto answers on the other end, and Amare takes a lousy shot. Ginobili drills a three when his man plays off him, Amare answers by taking it inside for the layup. Udoka misses the wide-open 3 from the corner. 79-58, A lot of quick shots, and not much ball movement right now. Beautiful series of passes gives Duncan the ball at the basket with nobody in the same area code. Barbosa misses a breakaway layup in transition somehow, but there's more running back and forth, and Nash finishes the next drive with a layup. Sloppy play on both ends by the Spurs, and Pop calls time to remind everyone. 81-64, 3:13 to play.
Beautiful sets of passes, Ginobili in to Duncan, over to Oberto for the easy shot at the basket. Amare answers from the baseline. Bowen with the long 2. Some more quick back-and-forth baskets. Parker hits 2 more baskets, and he's at 30 now. Nash answers, and it's 89-70. Parker slows it down with the clock running down, but can't make it. Suns get the last shot, Nash penetration with the kickout to Amare in the corner, but he can't get it to drop. 91-72 with a quarter to go.
Spurs are shooting 58%, and the Suns just don't have a clue how to get stops. Tony has 11 assists to go with the 30 points, Duncan has 18 and 9, Ginobili has a quiet 14 and 5. Amare with 26 and 10, Shaq with 13, Barbosa with 12. Nash with 8 assists and 7 points.
As you can imagine, the crowd is pretty much in shock. Barbosa gets the first two points of the quarter. Parker knocks down yet another midranger from the wing. Barbosa follows with another 2 quick baskets, Parker answers, Barbosa answers again. 95-80. Duncan misses from the top of the key with the 24 running out. Bell goes to the line on a Finley foul, but misses them both. Kurt Thomas can hit a wide open midranger from the wing. Time out with 9 minutes to go, and the Spurs need to try and settle down and keep things under control.
Diaw hits 2 from the line, and it's a 13-point game. Ginobili misses from 3 early in the shot clock, and Diaw can't get a tough shot to fall when surrounded. Manu drills the 3, and goes back to the well on successive possessions. Manu just kills their rally when it's coming down to crunch time, and it's 101-85 with 7 minutes. Spurs are moving the ball well, and Thomas makes a nice baseline jumper. Shaq gets 2 to answer. Duncan misses the layup, but goes to the line. Makes them both,m and it's 18 points with less than 6 minutes. Duncan fouls Shaq on a basket, and Shaq converts. Flagrant foul, Shaq on Duncan. Duncan goes to the line for 2, then they get the ball. Duncan converts 1 of 2, and Manu converts the following play with a ridiculously long 3. 109-92 inside 5 minutes, and Suns fans are starting to leave. Duncan with a beautiful layup. On the other end, Shaq fumbles the ball, but gets fouled and converts 1. Inside 4 minutes now. Parker with the steal, Duncan misses the long 2 after the Spurs burn off the clock. Spurs aren't all that worried about scoring anymore.
Parker hits a couple more shots to finish things off, and both teams send in the second unit with a minute to go. Parker finishes with a demented 41, and the Spurs wrap things up 155-99. If you had told me that there would be garbage time at the end of this game, I would ever in a million years have guessed that it would be because the Spurs dominated. I thought this would be a tough 6 game series, but it looks like the Suns will just try to keep from being swept now.
These Spurs look like they want some more hardware to put up on the mantle. Assuming they can wrap things up here, I guess we'll get to see how they fare against a pretty tough field deeper in the playoffs.