"Any ol' team can lose, but lose in crushing fashion? That's Sacramento. That's the Kings. They find hope in improbable places, stretch it to its elastic limit and watch it snap. Over and over again."
This final game was a microcosm of the entire Suns season, all wrapped up into 48 tidy little minutes. Moments of greatness interlaced with moments of epic fail. At times, the Suns looked invincible. Steve Nash looked like his old spry self. Suns big men were drawing And1s. 3-point shooters were making their 3-point shots on queue. 43 first-quarter points and a big lead on the #1 team in the Western Conference.
These fireworks were followed, of course, by a period of complete offensive ineptitude. 10 straight missed shots - most while Nash was running the offense late in the second quarter.
Then the Suns turned it on again in the 3rd with scrappy play and timely 3-pointers (Channing!). Followed, yet again, by a terrible start to the 4th quarter and subsequent early return by the starters. But heck - its the last game of the year. What's another 9 minutes for Steve-O? Too many, apparently. Nash re-injured himself on a drive to the rim and left for the season at the 5-minute mark.
And the Suns continued to struggle. Until 0-fer-Aaron's freebies to ice the game, only Dudley and Gortat scored for the Suns in the last 9 minutes. Luckily, the Spurs hit no big shots of their own and the Suns eeked out a win.
Yet the clock struck midnight and a long hot summer of darkness begins. No more games. No more practices, or shootarounds or heart palitations as the Suns struggled in yet another 4th quarter. With the lockout looming, all we have ahead of us is the NBA Draft and maybe a trade or two before June 30.
Players of the game:
Phoenix Suns Topple Spurs To Close Out 2010-11 Season - SB Nation Arizona
Both Steve Nash and Alvin Gentry gave strong indications that Nash would return next season. Gentry said he expects Nash to retire in a Phoenix uniform and Nash said he could see himself playing two more years past his current contract (one year remaining) and would consider signing an extension this summer to stay with the team.
Gortat said after the game that he will most likely forgo playing for the Polish National Team so he can spend the offseason working on his game and his body.