Playoffs 2010 Round 1 Game 1 Recap

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Box Score Photos Newsroom Notes Quotes Dudley Is A Hustler

Last Second Sorrow
By Mike Tulumello, for

PHOENIX ( exclusive) -- The Trail Blazers have found somebody who apparently can guard Amar'e Stoudemire.

The Suns need to discover somebody who can cover Andre Miller.

If nothing changes in these areas, the Blazers might be able to pull off a stunning playoff upset.

They got off to a rousing start in their best-of-seven first-round series Sunday night by shutting down Stoudemire and the Suns en route to a 105-100 surprise.

The Blazers became the only one of the eight lower-seeded teams in the NBA playoffs to win their first playoff game.

In the longer view, the Blazers now can be called the series favorites.

That's because Game 1 winners have gone one to win best-of-7 series 79 percent of the time since 1946-47.

They won Sunday thanks to Marcus Camby's defense on Stoudemire and the Suns' inability to cover Miller (Jason Richardson, among others, couldn't stay with him).

"We might not have taken them as seriously as we should have," admitted Stoudemire, speaking of a Blazers' team that is going without their biggest star, the injured Brandon Roy.

"We're definitely on notice now," agreed Steve Nash. "We have to play better."

Miller shot 10-for-17 for 31 points, including 10-for-10 on free throws.

"For the most part, he controlled the game," Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. "We have to do a better job of guarding him."

"We had to drive the ball to the basket to get them in the penalty," said Miller, who called the win "big, especially considering....they were probably the hottest team in the league."

The Suns had gone 23-6 since the All-Star break.

In addition to his superb defense, Camby had 17 rebounds and three blocks.

"Amar'e is as tough as they come," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "Camby made him work and didn't give him anything easy."

Camby has been named the league's best defensive player in the past, Gentry noted.

Still, "Amar'e is going to have to find a way to score. And we have to get him the ball in a good location."

Also playing key roles were Nicolas Batum (18 points) and reserve Jerryd Bayless (18 points, zero turnovers).

For the Suns, Nash had 25 points and nine assists. Stoudemire shot a modest 8-for-19 for 18 points.

"They did a phenomenal job defensively," Stoudemire said.

The Suns have had trouble scoring against the Blazers this season.

They'd only averaged 98 points against them (compared to their league-leading 110 points per game overall).

Noting the Suns got only four fast-break points Sunday, "We have to create a faster tempo," Stoudemire said.

"If we do that, we'll get better looks."

The teams engaged in a tense thriller until the Blazers pulled away in the final minutes.

They led 90-89 when Miller drove the lane, drew a foul and hit both free throws.

At the other end, the Suns had three chances on the same possession, but Nash and Richardson missed 3-pointers and Grant Hill had his hook in the lane blocked by Camby.

Stoudemire then was called for an offensive foul, and the Blazers took advantage on a spectacular tip-in by LaMarcus Aldridge over Stoudemire for a 94-89 lead.

Nash and the Blazers Batum traded 3-pointers then Stoudemire fumbled the ball away for his second turnover in the final 2:40.

Bayless hit two free throws for a 99-92 lead with 1:29 left.

The Blazers gave the Suns two chances in the closing moments:

The first: Camby missed an uncontested break-away dunk in the final minute.

Then Jared Dudley had a 3-pointer from the left corner that would have cut the Blazers' lead to one point. But he missed.

The second: After Richardson hit a 3-pointer cut it to 103-100 with 12.5 seconds left, Bayless missed two free throws.

That gave Nash one last 3-pointer from 28 feet up top to tie the game. He was well short, and the Blazers finally closed it out.

Player of the Game

Steve Nash

Quote of the Game

"It’s a long series, it’s going to be a grind-it-out series the way they play and you’ve got to make adjustments – it’s not like the NCAA tournament where it’s one game and you go home."
- Jared Dudley
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Newsroom Notes
Sitting at press row and watching the Suns’ Amar’e Stoudemire post-up against a taller and longer Marcus Camby, something seemed amiss. That’s because STAT usually doesn’t spend the most of his night posting up and playing with his back to the basket on the block. In fact, he likes to face up against his defender, especially those that a slower afoot. More

Dudley Wins Hustle Award
Two hours before the tip-off of his first career playoff game Sunday, Jared Dudley was first at work for shootaround on the main court. And much like during an actual game, it didn’t take long for the rest of the Suns’ second unit to follow suit. More

10 Points about Game 1
From stats and facts to random observations and storylines, see different takes on the game through the eyes of staffers Dan Hilton and Daniel Banks

Reason for Optimism
When it came to casting for the playoffs in the West the injury-crippled Blazers got the role as overmatched but spunky underdogs, and so far they are delivering an Oscar-worthy performance.

Photo of the Game

Jared Dudley accepts the Dan Majerle Hustle Award before the Game 1 of the Playoffs. (Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty)

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