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2006 Playoffs: Suns-Clippers, Game 5 Photos
May 16, 2006
Coming off a tough Game 4 defeat in Los Angeles, the Phoenix Suns were hoping to get back on track and take a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series against the Clippers.
The team knew if they were to be victorious it would have to be without their big man Kurt Thomas in the paint.
Following a career performance in Game 4 in Los Angeles, Suns guard Raja Bell talks Game 5 with reporters.
Shawn Marion greets Phoenix Suns fans as he takes to the hardwood for Game 5.
Phoenix Suns Vice President David Griffin and the Suns coaching staff look on during pregame warmups.
With the Lakers having already been eliminated by the Suns from the postseason, actor Jack Nicholson has now put his faith in the Clippers.
Comedian Billy Crystal on the other hand has always looked marvelous as a Los Angeles Clippers fan.
Former USC Trojan and current Arizona Cardinal Matt Leinart has become a US Airways Center regular throughout the Suns postseason.
Former Charles Barkley teammate and Champion Hall Of Famer Moses Malone was also in the house for what would prove to be a memorable Game 5.
Phoenix knew a Game 5 victory would help momentum swing back in favor of the Suns for the 2-2 series.
The Suns took the lead early on thanks to buckets from 2006 NBA Most Improved Player Boris Diaw.
The Clippers, however, kept the contest close as the lead went back and forth throughout the first period of play.
Even with the hot start, the Suns found themselves trailing 31-26 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter of play, Leandro Barbosa came off the Phoenix bench and again provided a spark for the Suns.
Forward Tim Thomas takes it up strong against Clippers All-Star Elton Brand. Thomas' play was a key reason why the Suns entered halftime with a 58-52 lead.
In the second half, nothing seemed to come easy for either the Suns or the Clippers.
Steve Nash still managed to somehow score 17 points in the contest while also handing out 13 assists.
The Matrix had a career night, finishing the contest with 36 points and 20 rebounds.
The question down the stretch became whether or not the impressive Phoenix statistics would result in a victory.
With a number of big plays from each team in the game's closing moments, it was only appropriate the contest head to overtime.
In the overtime session, things just did not seem to be going Phoenix's way as Tim Thomas fouled out after picking up his sixth personal.
In the overtime session, Marion continued to bang down low with Los Angeles, preventing second chance opportunities for the Clippers.
Even with the strong effort, Phoenix still found itself down three in the overtime session with just seconds remaining.
The Suns needed a hero in the overtime session against the Clippers and they got one.
Raja Bell's three-point shot from the corner was no doubt his biggest of the season as it sent Game 5 into a second overtime.
Bell finished the contest with 22 points but could only hope these three would ultimately lead to victory.
Suns forward Amare' Stoudemire celebrates with the Phoenix faithful at the US Airways Center.
Raja Bell is congratulated as the first overtime session comes to a close in Phoenix.
The Suns wasted no time in the second overtime taking it right to Los Angeles and showing no signs of fatigue.
Diaw looks to extend the Phoenix lead in the game's second overtime.
Up big late in the second overtime session, Leandro Barbosa can taste victory.
Sam Cassell and the Clippers could no doubt feel this one slipping away in the game's final moments.
The Brazilian Blur puts the finishing touches on a 125-118 Phoenix Suns victory.
The victory means a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series.
Mike D'Antoni and the Suns will now head back to the STAPLES Center where they will have a chance to close out the series in Game 6.
Boris Diaw discusses the victory in the Phoenix Suns locker room.
Two-time MVP Steve Nash meanwhile is at the podium talking about one of his most memorable games to date.