10 Points on Suns-Spurs Series

Suns.com team members Dan Hilton and Daniel Banks join forces to bring you ten random points about Game 2 of the Suns vs Trailblazers playoff series.


Dan Hilton
The big 2

Steve Nash and Jason Richardson came ready to play in Game 1. Nash scored 33 and Richardson scored 27 to combine for 54% of the team's 111 points, including Jason Richardson's shot of the game with his 3-point make in the 4th quarter. That is something to watch in Game 2 on Wednesday. The Spurs are known for making adjustments between playoff games and we can probably look to see heavier defense on Steve Nash next game.



Daniel Banks
Grant Hill is happy to be here.

Grant Hill scored the first points of the game and they just happened to be the first points he's ever scored in a secound-round series. Hill certainly showed that he's happy to still be playing in May - he finished with seven points, six rebounds, and four assists.



Dan Hilton
Finish them!

Phoenix had several double-digit leads and a 14-point lead with about 6 minutes left in the game. Yet the Spurs were able to come back each time, at one point even taking the lead before the Suns grabbed it back. When they had a 14-point lead, the Spurs whittled that down to 1 point and then the Suns decided they had had enough. If there is one thing you can't do to the Spurs, it's give them opportunities to win. They are a good enough team that they'll give themselves chances without Phoenix letting them have even more. It's a problem the team has had all season but that needs to stop now that we're in the playoffs.



Daniel Banks
Suns ran away with the game.

Phoenix opened the game with no question about their identity. They were the Run & Gun Suns and the mission was the push the ball. This was evident in the first quarter when the Suns started off hot and a Spurs turnover gave the ball to the Suns out of bounds. Jason Richardson ran over to the complaining Spur player, grabbed the ball, and gave it to the ref to get the action started as quickly as possible. That kind of hustle led to the Suns' 27 fast break points.



Dan Hilton
High percentage shots

The Suns did really well with getting high-percentage shots in Game 1. They had 56 points in the paint - 8 more than San Antonio. By getting the close shots, that caused the Spurs' defense to sag and try to help which in turn left the 3-point shooters more open. Down the stretch, those open 3-point shots were what ended up saving the Suns from a let-down defeat. They need to keep doing that in Game 2.



Daniel Banks
Suns smell like team spirit.

Before the game, the Suns gathered outside their locker room for one final huddle before taking the court. Channing Frye made a popular "five play as one" gesture closing his hand into a fist. He was right, the Sun win was a team effort of little things, boxing out, and hustle plays.

At one point the Spurs were forced to call a timeout to try and slow the red-hot Suns. As the whistle blew, the team jumped up an ran onto the court to high five the players as they walked back to the bench. It looked like the player introductions in reverse. This tunnel of high fives reached almost to half court and blocked Tim Duncan's path back to his bench. He had to ask Louis Amundson to move before he could go be yelled at by Coach Popovich.



Dan Hilton
Bench needs to pick it up

Stoudemire, Nash and Richardson scored 83 of the team's 111 points. The other 6 players who scored totaled 28 points between them. Grant Hill, Jared Dudley and Channing Frye combined for 31% shooting to total 16 points between them. We know that the Spurs are going to try and stop the three guys who killed them in Game 1 and it's going to be up to the bench to put the team on their backs and get a win in Game 2.



Daniel Banks
STAT outrebounded Duncan.

The Suns held a 44-38 rebounding advantage and Amar'e Stoudemire was dominate on the boards. He snatched down 13 rebounds in Game 1 including four offensive boards.



Dan Hilton
Keep up the intensity

The crowd was loud on Monday. At one point, I leaned over to say something to Daniel and he couldn't hear me. Which isn't surprising since I couldn't even hear myself! Steve Nash mentioned in his postgame quotes on how loud the crowd was and it seemed to help the guys when the game got close. Want to be here for Game 2? There are still a few tickets left.



Daniel Banks
The 3rd quarter tip-off.

The game may have started at 7:45pm, but the real contest began with 5:08 remaining in the 3rd quarter. That's when a timeout was called with both teams tied 71-71. After that break, the Suns went on a 12-2 run. They'd need to weather one more Spurs push in the fourth quarter, but that 3rd quarter performance was a sharp response to a Spurs team that had claimed all the momentum in the early minutes of the 2nd half.