How about them Suns!
Shooting just 35% at the end of the first half, the Suns still had a tie game at 51. This is your new Phoenix Suns team that can get it done with hustle and grit.
The shooting picked up in the second half with Frye getting hot (5-6 from three) and an all around great team effort. The defense kept Parker out of the lane and even though he and Richard Jefferson were hot, Manu wasn't.
The biggest stretch came in the first half of the fourth quarter when the Suns bench extended a two-point lead to a six-point lead while Nash and Amare rested. The Spurs starters had to come in early and wore down in the final stretch.
This is exactly the kind of team game I envisioned when I thought the Suns would win this series.
Jared Dudley is my player of the game for his excellent hustle to help dig the Suns out of an early hole. He finished with 11 points and 6 rebounds.
Hat tip to the crowd, as well. Both team and fans were a bit slow at first, but fed off each other in the second half.
Stay tuned for more post game...
Player of the Game Quotes:
"He was my player of the game. He made some huge plays for us. Our first unit struggled a little bit, our second unit came in and I thought they struggled a little bit and then there was a turning point where he got about three offensive rebounds, a steal and he did a bunch of little things that more than anything gave us energy and confidence and changed the game and enabled us to come back and tie at halftime just because of the energy and spirit."
- Steve Nash talking about Jared Dudley
"I thought in the first half Jared Dudley changed the whole game. He came in and he was monster. He was committed to the boards and it was infectious and for that period they really got after us on the boards and that change it in the first half."
- Gregg Popovich talking about Jared Dudley
"I feel like that's what we're supposed to do - bring energy. We were down, obviously not shooting the ball extremely well and we tried to come in and slash and get offensive rebounds...We just battled. We shot less than 40% in the first half and that's usually how the Suns have won in the past but as you can see it's a different team and a different year."
- Jared Dudley talking about Jared Dudley (and the Suns)
I screwed up by skipping Pop's press conference to go to the locker rooms. That won't ever happen again...
Video via AOL Fanhouse.
Post Game Audio
Spurs vs Suns recap
Spurs vs Suns boxscore
Pounding The Rock
JMZ in the flesh...literally
- Lot of empty seats in here to start. We'll see if it's the early start or not
- Spurs try to get RJeff going with an early shot. Missed
- Suns run a Hill/Amare pick and roll. Didn't work but still
- Suns missing shots early. 1-6
- Collins with the sweet lay-up.....miss
- Grant on RJeff early. JRich on Manu
- Parker in for George. 10-6 Spurs. 6:49. Not a good start
- Need a three? Call Jason Richardson. 10-9 Spurs. Pop w/ the first time out
- Duncan and Nash carrying their teams early
- Sweet pass from Manu to Tim in traffic
- Grant picks up his 2nd foul....a cheapie as Duncan jumped back into him
- 17-13, Spurs. 4:05
- Bonner still cold from three
- 2nd foul on Frye. Whistles find energy
- As bad as Suns are shooting still only down 3
- Dudley fouled going up for a layup in transition. Falls on his face. If he had Manu's nose it would be smashed but he's got a normal schnoz so no damage
- Amare iso'd on Bonner. The crowd pre-cheered
- Tony is hot from outside. Suns sloppy, sluggish and out of sorts
- 22-18, Spurs. Suns hanging around w/ D and rebounding
- Horrible entry pass from Nash
- Dragic hounding Parker on D but he finds Blair in the paint w/ a sweet pass
- 30-21 Spurs. Not what I was hoping for but Suns not playing w/ energy so just needs a boost from somewhere. Right?
- 8 points for Parker, 11 for Duncan
- LB bricked that shot hard
- Time for someone to step up and ignite a run
- Jared and Lou battling the paint. Jared gets the and 1.
- Blair fronting Amare shouldn't work as well as is
- And other and 1 for JD! Maybe he's the spark....too bad he missed both FTs
- 32-25 Spurs, 10:20
- Energy and hustle picking up. Thanks, bench
- Suns can not buy a shot...
- Defense and rebound and energy making a difference though
- Amare needs to pick up his game in this series
- Great steal from Frye!
- Goran, I want you to please realize that even though LB has more experience and is older that YOU are the better point guard. Take over, Gogi!
- Lou and JD just working HARD
- ICE COLD
- 38-32, Spurs. 6:07. Starters back in. Great stint from the bench. Cut the lead a bit and worked hard
- Finally a three (Frye)
- JRich with his own! 40-38 Spurs. Good time out from Pop
- JRich w/ the monster board
- Jason fouled shooting a three
- 44-42, Spurs, 3:18
- Grant picks up his 3rd foul on the offensive end
- McDyess and RJeff score. Empty possessions for Suns...
- Oooh, that was a Bully Ball move from Amare. MORE PLEASE
- The place was ready to go nuts if JRich nails that three. Instead Manu hits one....then Channing answers!
- Amare SLAM!!!! to tie the game!! Crowd explodes!!
- Duncan missed the bank shot! JRich missed the shot that could have given the lead but still
- Can't be mad about that half. Suns shot like crap but are still in the game thanks to effort and guts
- There you go, Amare! Take over this game!
- Nice block, Amare!
- Team trading jabs right now...back and forth
- Parker with 5 quick points lands a hard right hand. 64-60. Spurs
- George Hill passed up an open look
- JRich is the man...again!!! 64-64, 6:37 to go
- Frye passed up a three and Gentry yelled at him. That time he took it. Nailed it.
- 68-67. Both teams now shooting on fire
- Nash gets funky w/ that one. 73-71, Spurs. 3:18
- Suns playing Nash off the ball a lot more in this game
- 4th on Duncan. That's my Joey. 73-73 when he went out
- Frye for three!!! His 3rd. 76-73, 52 sec
- Crowd on their feet since Frye hit that three
- Suns D, does it again. Gets the stop and the foul on the loose ball. Nash to the line. 78-73 Suns
- Hill turnover on what should have been the last possession but Qtr ends with RJeff hitting a tough shot. Damn
- 78-76, Suns.
- Killer instinct time
- No LB this time. Good move
- George Hill w/ the corner 3. Yuck. 80-78, Spurs. Gentry w/ the time out
- Great defense by Amare and Dragic on Parker w/ nice rotations behind them
- JD for three!!!
- JD steal!!!!
- Touch fouls going against the Spurs now
- Dragic not hitting anything
- Great ball movement. Goran passes up an open three, goes to Hill who hits the 2
- Frye for three!!! He's been huge!!! He was due for one of these games
- 88-83, Suns 7:55
- Grant Hill have a really good, bad game. Feel me?
- Grant Hill again!!!!. 92-86, Suns. 6:22
- 5th foul on Frye. Damn
- Nash, JRich and Amare back in. 5:50. They should be fresher than Spurs starters down the stretch
- Dudley killing it w/ energy
- GO CROWD!!! Beat the Spurs chant starts organically. PA wisely turns down music they were planning
- JRich with ANOTHER BIG THREE!!!!!!
- Manu answers. 95-91 but Nash finds Amare for an and 1
- 98-91, 4:33
- Dudley got all ball on the replay
- Five fouls on Duncan with 4 min to go....He's got to guard Amare in that small ball line up too
- Parker hits a three...they won't die easy.
- 103-97, Suns 2:15
- Stops on both ends...running the clock down
- Game over!!! Amare missed in the lane but grabbed rebound. JRich with a pull up 2