The Phoenix Suns won a thrilling game that had all the elements of a playoff game. Down to the wire, big shots, hard fouls, questionable calls. This 93-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers had it all. I hope you watched, otherwise you missed a great one.
With no Grant Hill (knee), Alvin Gentry inserted Sebastian Telfair to play alongside Steve Nash in the final minutes and take the defensive assignment on the mighty Chris Paul. Telfair was effective enough, including a huge block with under 20 seconds left in the game.
"What a game. I just thought we just kept hanging in and found a way to pull it out at the end. I thought that it was a really good blockout by Channing (Frye) at the end and I thought Sebastian (Telfair) did a good job of trying to keep Chris Paul in front of him," Alvin Gentry said.
Offensively, the Suns struggled to find any kind of rhythm but down the stretch got a big three from Jared Dudley and six points from Steve Nash at the line, off a jumper and on a beautiful lay in off the top of the back board.
Robin Lopez was ejected in the fourth quarter after being called for a flagrant two foul after he hit Blake Griffin in the head during a layup attempt.
The Phoenix Suns (32-30) began their playoffs a few weeks ago and so far, they've done pretty well. The team is 7-4 in the month of April but the hole they dug early in the season was deep and the schedule certainly favors their main playoff rival, the Utah Jazz.
With just four games left on the schedule, the Suns are half-game back of the Jazz (33-30) with a pivotal game in Utah on Tuesday. There's no question the Suns will need to win that game, especially considering the Jazz other opponents are the beat up Magic and the tanking Trail Blazers -- all at home.
Assuming the Suns beat the Jazz on Tuesday (they are 2-0 against them so far this season), Phoenix can still afford to lose one of their other three games and get into the playoffs by virtue of tie-breakers against the Jazz and Rockets.
On the other hand, if the Suns can win all four of their final games, they are in for sure. Can they go 4-0 while beating the Clippers, Nuggets, Jazz and Spurs? It's a tall task and it starts (continues) on Thursday night at home against Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.