Spurs-Suns Game 4 Game Blog
It's 2 minutes in when ESPN cuts in from the Cavs win over the Wiz. Suns 5, Spurs 1. Bell hits a jumper, and it's 7-1. Pop calls time. After the break, the Suns are still rolling, and it's quickly 11-1. Suns have more intensity on both ends of the court. Finally, foul on Amare, and Oberto goes to the line and makes them both. Amare answers with some sick penetration, and gets the and-1. 14-3.
Interesting stat: 6 more games, and Horry passes Kareem for most playoff games all time. Wow.
Nash dribbles through the court at will, pulls up, and drops an easy jumper. All 5 starters for Phoenix have scored. Sloppy Spurs turnover, then a bad shot leads to an easy Barbosa basket in transition. 20-5, and the Spurs aren't even in this game.
One saving grace. Amare picked up his second, and Bell has 2. Spurs try to slowly claw their way back in, and take it up to 21-9, but then Nash hits a nice 3 to reassert their lead. The rest of the quarter kept spinning out of control, to wrap up 34-13. Ugly. It looks like the Spurs decided they deserve a game off after taking a 3-0 lead.
Parker takes it to the hole for the first points of the 2nd. Good start. Ginobili follows with another easy layup, and the Spurs are getting stops. Well, better late than never. Maybe someone told the Spurs the wrong starting time for the game. Duncan slams one home, and it's 34-19 now. D'Antoni wants to regroup.
The teams trade baskets, then Bell hits a wide-open 3 to go up 39-21, but Duncan answers with another nice 2. He has the Spurs last 6, now. Oberto picks up his 3rd on the next possession. Shaq hits 1 of 2. Duncan hits yet another, on a nice bank shot, but Bell drills another 3 from the wing. Shaq called for defensive 3 seconds, and Fin hits the tech. Parker misses the teardrop, but Spurs pull down the offensive board. Another defensive 3-second call on Shaq, and another FT made by Fin. This is an epic possession, but they need to convert. But no -- Parker misses a jumper from the foul line. 43-27. Diaw makes a nice basket on a postup, but Duncan answers. Duncan has 12, now. Parker penetrates and draws the and-1 on Nash, but can't convert the FT.
Offensive foul on Shaq, and the Spurs get a chance to close -- Parker with a nice 15-footer from the wing. Bell has is a lethal 6 of 7 from the field for 15, but the Spurs have shaved the lead down to 47-35 when time is called. Still 5:15 to play in the half. If they can get it a little closer -- or at least keep the Suns from widening the gap -- the Spurs can totally win this thing in the second half.
Parker fouls Nash, who hits 2 from the line. The teams trade baskets, then Parker passes it out of bounds on the pick and roll, and Shaq gets an easy 2-footer. Ginobili steps out of bounds, Diaw takes it to the basket, and the Suns extend their lead back to 55-37, with 3:32 on the clock. Turnover by Tony, foul on Manu, his second. Bell goes to the line -- he's red hot. The Spurs started to play themselves back into this game, but now they're playing themselves back out. Maybe they forgot their brooms back in San Antonio.
Phoenix runs it up to 12 straight, and take a 24 point lead with 1:16 to play. Horry finally ends the run with a 3 from the corner, but it's still 61-40 with just over a minute. Parker does a good job drawing contact, but the Suns finish with a brutal 65-43 lead. Bell sums it up coming off the court: they were completely embarrassed after stinking the place up before, and now they're motivated to get their token game. That may not be quite what he said, but it's sure what I heard.
Spurs don't come out of the gate playing any better in the third, so it looks like they've resigned themselves to waiting a game to close this series out. They can't buy a shot, and the Suns quickly go up 71-43. For reasons I can't fathom, Finley is on Amare, and he's getting beaten like a dusty rug. They're pretty content to just run up and down the court and trade baskets, and before too long, the Suns are up 83-61 with 3 minutes to play. They've cut the lead a little bit as the Suns lowered their intensity, but this doesn't look like a team that wants to make up 22 points in 15 minutes.
Suns come out shooting after the time out, and the Suns finish the quarter 93-65, with Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili on the bench. Bell has a game high 24, and Diaw has 20. I doubt we'll see the first team again -- this thing is over.
Sure enough, Parker,s in the locker room to start Q4. In addition to his 20 points, Diaw has 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Hell of a game. He's come a long way since Game 2, when he was the worst player in the quarter. Parker comes back part way through with ice on his calf. The quarter pretty much plays out as garbage time, but it's good to get Horry, Barry, and Stoudamire some court time. Bonner's inactive, so it looks like we won't get to see him today.
Somehow D'Antoni gets himself thrown out with the double technical with 3 and a half to go. As you'd expect, he leaves to a standing O. Final score: 105-86. The sad part is that it wasn't that close. The Spurs don't seem too worried, but they need to drum some urgency back up if they're going to close this thing out on Tuesday.