The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns played another classic, crazy game reminiscent of their battles in the mid to late 2000's. Both teams were scoring at will and shooting over 50 percent heading into the fourth quarter with just a one-point margin of separation.
Neither team's defensive game plan was very effective up to that point, but it was the Spurs who found their stopping mojo first and went on a crucial 8-0 run with Steve Nash on the bench. Tony Parker hit two jump shots and Boris Diaw added a third to fuel the fire that push the Spurs lead from three to nine. That was followed by turnovers on the next two Suns possessions and the lead was up to 12 with about 5:45 to play.
The hill proved insurmountable by the Suns and San Antonio were to nurse their lead across the finish line.
"It's a game, you know. Things happen," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "Sometimes we lose and the other team does that. We made some shots and they couldn't score for a while. I thought our defense was better in the second half. I thought Steve (Nash) sliced and diced us up in the first half and I thought we got ourselves under control defensively and the defense fueled a lot of what we did in the second half."
The result wasn't what Suns fans wanted, but the game was highly entertaining for three quarters. The Spurs are a more talented team with a lot of depth.
Shannon Brown got the start in place of Grant Hill who sat out with a sore knee. He put on a show with a career-high 32 on 11-18 shooting. On the other hand, Jared Dudley had just two points on the night.
"Playing against a team like San Antonio, you've got to play smart every possession, every possession counts. It's almost like playing a playoff game," Brown, a two-time NBA champion, said.
Nash said that his back tightened up during the second quarter and he wasn't able to get loose. He didn't think it would be a big deal and said at this point in the season, there's no time for resting.
We'll have to watch and see if Nash starts turning down shots or missing shots he'd normally make. In the past, those have been signs of his health impacting his game.
The Suns travel to L.A. to face the Clippers on Wednesday.
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