In many ways it was a throwback game to so many past meetings between these two teams. The Suns came out with incredible energy and dropped 43 points on the Spurs in the first quarter. Everything was working right in the 65 percent-shooting quarter. A San Antonio team coached by Gregg Popovich and lead by Tim Duncan was not going to let that stand and they held the Suns to just 20-66 shooting in the final three periods.
The Spurs used their defense and interior scoring from Tim Duncan (17 points, 12 rebounds) to overcome an 18-point deficit and cut the lead to within three with under five minutes of play. In the past, the Spurs would have found a way to close out the game and break the hearts of Phoenix fans. Tonight, karma was on the side of the home team as the Suns found a way to close it out even with Steve Nash on the bench for the fourth quarter.
Nash (8 points, 10 assists, 30 minutes) tweaked his hamstring in the third quarter and didn't return. Aaron Brooks didn't exactly light it up in his place, finishing with just four points and two assists. All four of those points came at the free throw line from game-extending intentional fouls. Goran Dragic, by the way, recorded a triple double tonight playing for the Houston Rockets.
The Suns only shot 40.2 percent from the field and were led by Marcin Gortat's 21 points and 13 rebounds. He defended Tim Duncan well and shot an efficient 10-13 from the field. 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.
By winning the game, the Suns prevented the Spurs from securing the best record in the league and finished their season with 40 wins. Both coach Alvin Gentry and some of the players felt that it was important to reach the 40-win mark.
"It's important for us, you know really for the fans to let them know. We've kind of had the fans on a the emotional roller coaster this year where we played well and then we struggled, then we played well," Gentry said.
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.
Before the Suns can look to rebuilding and adding more talent to this roster, the NBA will be facing a likely lockout as the current collect bargaining agreement expires on July 1.