PHOENIX (Ticker) -- After averting a sweep, the Phoenix Suns
are not quite ready to see their remarkable season come to an
The Suns look for a second straight victory when they host the
San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference final
Despite leading the league in scoring and winning 33 more games
than last season, the Suns were on the verge of being swept by
the NBA's top defensive team.
However, Amare Stoudemire scored 31 points and made some
critical defensive plays in the second half, including a block
on two-time Most Valuable Player Tim Duncan, to help prolong
Phoenix's playoff run with a 111-106 road triumph over San
Antonio on Monday.
Joe Johnson made 10-of-15 shots and scored 26 points in his
second game back after breaking a bone near his left eye. NBA
MVP Steve Nash collected 17 points and 12 assists and Shawn
Marion grabbed 14 rebounds for the Suns, who shot 57 percent
Phoenix dictated the tempo after being held to a playoff-low 92
points in Game Three.
Duncan also provided Phoenix with a lift in Game Four, missing
12-of-15 free throws. He made 15 straight from the line in Game
Manu Ginobili scored 28 points and Bruce Bowen and Robert Horry
added 15 apiece for the Spurs, who had a 45-37 rebounding edge
in Game Four.
The Spurs remain one win away from reaching the NBA Finals for
the second time in three years.
The Suns are trying to become the first team to win an NBA
playoff series after losing the first three games.
If Phoenix wins, then the series moves back to San Antonio for
Game Six on Friday.