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For those of you not familiar with my previous work...I'm totally in the bag for Kurt Warner. So as a rule - any time I have the chance to post his picture I'm going to do it. And you're going to deal with it (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
During the waning moments of the Suns victory last night, was I the only one who thought of this speech from Independence Day? I was? Well OK. But either way -- that's a pretty sweet speech. Nothing gets the blood pumping quite like a fired up Bill Pullman getting ready to fly up and kill some aliens.
Last night was generally pretty awesome for the following reasons:
1) The Suns won.
2) LOST ended and I was satisfied with the finale.
3) Mercury star Penny Taylor (and Diana Taurasi) was sitting about 5 seats and 1 row over from me and let me tell you -- Penny Taylor is really, really hot in person. 'Twas pleasant.
All in all, a very strong night. So there you go, friends. Until Seth puts up a links post, you have the chance to talk about the Suns, LOST, ID4, or Penny Taylor below in the comments. I'm offering quite the open range here.
Sunday May 23rd Playoff Results:
Phoenix Suns 118 Los Angeles Lakers 109 (Recap): I suppose since I'm the negative guy around here I'll open up with pretty much the only big negatives from last night's game: Channing Frye and the team three point shooting. Frye played 18 minutes and missed all 7 of his field goal attempts, including 5 threes, to bring his shooting line to an embarrassing 1/20 in the series, while the team shot just 5/20 from three. Not great for one of the greatest three point shooting teams in NBA history. OK there are your negatives, now time for the good stuff. The Suns used 42 points and 11 rebounds from the super beast mode version of Amar'e Stoudemire to beat the Lakers and draw within one game of tying the Western Conference Finals.
Following yet another one billion point quarter from the Lakers in the first (OK, it was 32) the Suns switched into a 2-3 zone which helped produce a 7 point half time lead. Seth gives you some zone talk here. Although the Lakers got back to their high scoring ways in the third and cut the lead to 2, Phoenix pulled away in the fourth with 13 from Stoudemire and a couple big threes from Jason Richardson. Kobe Bryant was well ... Kobe Bryant for the Lakers, as he went for 36 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds while Pau Gasol went for 23 on 11/14 shooting. But the real story for LA was the performance of the "others." Derek Fisher managed to put up 18 on what basically amounted to a bunch of wide open jumpers while Lamar Odom and Ron Artest both managed double figures, but shot a combined 8/27 from the field. Andrew Bynum continued to struggle as a combination of foul trouble and injury benched him for most of the game and he played just 8 minutes. I'm not re-inventing the wheel here but Kobe and Pau are going to get their, gotta shut down the other dudes.
For the Suns, the story was obviously Stoudemire, who matched his playoff career high (set in 2005 when he was really breaking out), but Phoenix was not without other contributions. Robin Lopez played 30 minutes -- his most since returning from injury -- and scored 20 points on 8/10 shooting and an array of fairly impressive post moves. Steve Nash had a quiet 17 points, but added 15 assists and created great opportunities for Lopez and Stoudemire. All in all it was a good win -- but it was one win. There won't be a sweep, but if the Suns are going to even things up they are going to need some of their "others" to step it up, like pretty much anyone on the much ballyhooed bench which was just 3/21 from the field and 0/11 from three during Game 3. OK I couldn't resist finishing on a negative...it's in my nature.
Conference Finals Series Standings:
Monday May 24th Playoff Game:
Game 4: Magicians @ Celtics: Here's the question, Orlando...are you guys going to quit on the season or are you going to put your rally shoes on and drive for the miracle comeback? You win tonight and you've got 2 of the next 3 at home -- just saying. Color me sick of having good things happen to the Celtics (and Lakers).
90's NBA Flavor - If there was ever any debate as to whether or not I hear your cries then we can put that to rest. As requested TIME AND AGAIN....Isiah "Don't Call me J.R" Rider