Since the current iteration of the Phoenix Suns is on vacation during these playoffs, we at Bright Side thought it would be fun to relive the Suns' exciting 1993 playoff run with recaps of each game. Today, the Suns and Charles Barkley begin an epic Western Conference Finals series with a win at home over Shawn Kemp's Seattle Supersonics, 105-91.
In a series about to go the distance, the fireworks hadn't even started yet when the Suns took down the Sonics in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
The Sonics had just survived the Houston Rockets in their own round two series - you know, the same Rockets who would soon steal Suns hearts with the icy zeal of the wicked witch in Once Upon a Time. The Sonics came in a bit flat to game one, while the Suns had a four-day rest and were waiting to pounce on their prey.
And pounce they did. Even without Barkley doing much pouncing (12 points, 14 rebounds in 36 minutes).
Earstwhile Suns mainstay and recent arena entertainment emcee, Cedric Ceballos used a surprise start to tally 21 points and backup center Oliver Miller (15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 assists, 2 steals) helped the Suns block a club playoff record 16 Seattle shots (second most all-time). Mark West, still a Suns mainstay in their front office, had 4 blocks of his own.
That's 16 shots blocked against a loaded Seattle team, coached by George Karl, that boasted in-his-prime Shawn Kemp, lanky Derrick McKey and Sam Perkins (one of the original stretch-fours) on the front line, with all-time great Gary Payton at PG and Rickey Pierce at SG. Off the bench, the Suns' own Eddie Johnson provided offense, while Nate McMillan and Michael Cage brought the D. That I remember this lineup so clearly twenty years later is a clear sign that Seattle was really, really good.
But not in game one they weren't.
The Suns owned this game from the get-go, and a Suns second unit boasting future head coaches Frank Johnson and Danny Ainge kept the foot on the throat of the Sonics all night.
Suns win going away, 105-91.
The NBA Finals were only three wins away.