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2006 NBA Playoffs: Suns-Mavericks, Game 1 Photos
May 24, 2006
NBA NVP Steve Nash returns to his old Dallas stomping grounds for Game 1 of the Conference Finals.
It was three months to the day that Kurt Thomas last took to the court in a Suns game.
Consider Brian Grant java-powered thanks to a pregame beverage.
Mavericks fans are pumped and hoping for a Game 1 Western Conference Finals victory against the Phoenix Suns.
Like those in the Valley, Dallas Mavericks fans show their appreciation for their team in a number of different ways.
Some brought signs while others painted their faces. Some - like this young fan - even went as far as to do both.
Swingman Boris Diaw collects himself before the start of his first Western Conference Finals game.
Tim Thomas and Nikoloz Tskitishvili share a moment in the visitors locker room prior to Game 1.
Head Coach Mike D'Antoni talks to the media prior to his team's second-consecutive Conference Finals appearance.
The last time the Suns were on the American Airlines Center court, Phoenix took care of business, beating Dallas by eight points on March 5.
The NBA MVP shakes hands with with a fellow candidate before the start of Game 1 in Dallas.
It didn't take long for the Suns' defense to make a statement to Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki in the first quarter of play.
Friends off the court, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki played like anything but after the opening tip-off.
Early on it was evident the night would prove to be yet another nail biter for Suns Head Coach Mike D'Antoni as both teams battled back and forth.
Raja Bell sports an icy glare that matches the icewater in his veins.
Who better to teach Leandro Barbosa the ways of the Dallas Mavericks than former Mav Steve Nash.
Boris scores two of his career-high 34 points on what would be a night to remember for the youngster.
Missing from the active roster as of late, Eddie House made his return to the court in Game 1 to the tune of six points in eight minutes of play.
Steve Nash finished the first half with 17 points, 12 assists and five boards.
The Brazilian Blur Leandro Barbosa takes it to the hole against Dallas in the early going.
The Suns found their fair share of success in the paint on the evening, primarily their two-time MVP Steve Nash.
That success a key to Phoenix's 62-58 lead at the half.
In the second half of play, Phoenix knew they would need to keep up with Dallas inside as the Mavericks were not the type of team to ever let up.
Dallas toughened up in the third period of play and found a way to outscore Phoenix 37-29.
The big third quarter for Dallas helped fans like former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman take in an exciting fourth and final quarter of play.
The Matrix abandoned the outside game, in favor of driving to the basket most of the night.
The Suns bench looks on as their All-Star teammate scores two of his 24 points.
Nash displays the finger roll as a thing of beauty as Phoenix begins climbing back into the game.
Tim Thomas works his way inside en route to a 17-point night.
No stranger to the circus shot, the Suns' All-Star playmaker made plenty of unbelievable shots down the stretch.
The Suns got a scare in the fourth as sharpshooting guard Raja Bell was forced to leave the game with an injury.
Teammates Pat Burke and Brian Grant assist Bell off the court following the injury.
Shawn Marion continued his postseason success which he hoped would result in a Game 1 victory.
Nash could no doubt feel the tide turning after drawing an offensive foul call down the stretch.
With Phoenix down one and just seconds remaining on the clock, the Suns turned to their hot hand in Boris Diaw.
Diaw did not disappoint, sinking the jumper and helping Phoenix to a 121-118 victory in Game 1.
The biggest shot in Boris' career now has Phoenix up 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals with Game 2 set to take place on Friday.
Even in Dallas, Tim Thomas gets hit up by Phoenix media for a quick quote.
A strained left calf ended the shooting guard's night a bit early, but a win in the playoffs helped ease some of the pain.
Assistant coach Marc Iavaroni greets Bell after the Suns' Game 1 win in Dallas.
A relieved Raja Bell talks to reporters after the Suns' win.
The All-STar point guard has a good reason to smile: 27 points, 16 assists and a Game 1 win in the Conference Finals.
Post game talks weren't as fun, however, for Mavericks All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.
Even an injured Raja Bell could find time to make a young fan's day in Dallas.
Tim Thomas is always up for hanging around late and signing some autographs.