PHOENIX, May 22 (Ticker) -- Brent Barry
and the San Antonio Spurs
looked unstoppable in their half-court offense.
Barry scored 13 of his 21 points in a blistering fourth quarter
as the Spurs looked like the team with high-powered offense in a
121-114 victory over the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the
Western Conference finals.
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scored 29 points and Tim Duncan
had 28 and 15
rebounds for the Spurs, who put on a clinic on the offensive end
of the floor in the fourth quarter to quickly gain the
home-court advantage from the NBA's best team.
The Spurs displayed championship poise in the fourth quarter,
scoring 43 points on 72 percent (16-of-22) shooting.
"Not a situation we expect to be in, scoring that many points in
the fourth quarter, but an opportunity we'll take," Duncan
"We can play a couple of different ways" Barry said. "We can
play big and slow and methodical. We also can run and compete
with the best team in the West, and that's Phoenix."
Barry, quiet the entire postseason, stepped up big in the final
period by making three 3-pointers and all five of his shots. He
made back-to-back shots from the arc 39 seconds apart to cap a
12-4 surge and give the Spurs a 106-98 lead with 4:08 remaining.
"It is all predicated on Tim being down in the block and
scoring, causing problems," Barry said. "There is so much focus
down there when they double team him it leaves avenues for open
opportunities so do your best to knock things down."
"He (Barry) came up huge," Parker said. "I am very happy for him
because he's been struggling the whole season. He played great
tonight. I hope he's going to keep it going because we need
When Barry wasn't bombing away from the outside, Parker and
Duncan also proved too difficult to handle. Parker used his
quickness to his advantage, going to the basket to both score
and set up Duncan, who also was effective by passing out of
"We want to play games in the 90s and the 80s, but when
opportunities are there, we're going to take the shots," Duncan
said. "I thought we did a great job of mixing the tempos,
playing controlled at times and when the opportunity was to do
it we pushed it back out."
"Their pace isn't going to change," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
said. "We play half-court basketball and we fast break. We do
both. But we don't plan to play just a flat half-court game.
We haven't all year long."
overcame early foul trouble and scored 41
points and reigning MVP Steve Nash
had 29 and 13 assists for the
Suns, who trail in a series for the first time this postseason.
"It was defensive breakdowns more than anything," Nash said. "I
think we scored enough points to win and played well enough
While the Spurs scored when they wanted, they also showed why
they were the NBA's best defensive team during the regular
season, limiting the Suns to just six fast-break points. Phoenix
had been averaging 19.5 fast-break points in the postseason.
"No fast-break points the whole night," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni
said. "I don't think we had enough energy that we could get
over the hump." After being contained in the first half, the
Suns came out energized in the third quarter, using a 21-9 run
in just under five minutes to take a 70-64 lead. Jim Jackson
drilled three 3-pointers in the surge that Stoudemire capped
with two free throws at the 6:53 mark.
Jackson scored 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting and also made four
of the Suns' six 3-pointers.
All-Star Shawn Marion
made two foul shots with 90 seconds left
in the third quarter, giving the Suns their biggest lead at
However, it was a completely ineffective game for Marion, who
scored just three points on 1-of-6 shooting. He was guarded by
both Duncan and Bruce Bowen
"I didn't think Shawn had an abundance of energy," D'Antoni
said. "I think he was a little tired. He will be back."
It also was a rough game for Suns forward Quentin Richardson
who scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting.
Duncan and Manu Ginobili
made four free throws to close the
third quarter and the Spurs scored the first seven points of the
fourth quarter to take an 85-82 lead.
Ginobili scored 21 points and Robert Horry
12 for the Spurs, who
shot 52 percent (45-of-87), made 10-of-23 attempts from the arc
and held a 45-41 rebounding advantage. Ginobili also had the
game's biggest highlight, hitting a shot from beyond halfcourt
to end the first quarter.
A dunk by Steven Hunter
with 9:24 remaining gave the Suns their
last lead at 88-87.
Duncan's dunk with 6:24 left snapped a 94-94 tie, giving the
Spurs the lead for good while starting the decisive surge.
Stoudemire, who fouled out in Game 6 at Dallas on Friday,
picked up two fouls in less than four minutes and the Spurs took
advantage and built a 30-20 lead after one quarter.
However, Stoudemire returned and scored 18 points in the second
quarter that ended with the Spurs holding a 55-49 lead.
The Suns shot 49 percent (42-of-86) in falling to 4-2 at home in
Phoenix hosts Game Two on Tuesday.