Thursday , May , 17 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Steve Nash, Shawn Marion & Shorthanded Phoenix Suns Lose Game Five, Tim Duncan & Manu Ginobili Deliver For San Antonio

The San Antonio Spurs won the much-talked about game five over the Phoenix Suns …. The Spurs now lead 3-2 with the series heading back to The Alamo … The Suns put forward a solid effort, but fell short down the stretch … Nash and Marion were strong … But Ginobili and Duncan were better … Get your recap and analysis here…

What happened: No Diaw. No Stoudemire. Unfortunately, the had a problem.

The short-handed Suns put forward a valiant effort, but and were too much, leading the to an 88-85 game five win.

With the win, San Antonio now leads the series 3-2.

Ginobili led the Spurs, scoring 26 points and pulling in 10 rebounds, while Duncan had 21 points and 12 boards.

paced the Suns with 24 points and 17 rebounds. chipped in with 19 points and 12 assists.

Phoenix was missing and , who were each serving one-game suspensions. However, the Suns still started strong, taking a 44-33 lead into half-time.

But the Spurs clawed back into the game by opening the second-half with a 9-0 run. San Antonio took the lead in the fourth quarter when nailed a late three-pointer.

Game six is Friday in San Antonio.

My Take: In this David versus Goliath game five, an underappreciated Sun had a big game.

Despite the loss, Phoenix’s human pogo-stick, Shawn Marion, was brilliant, tallying 24 points and 17 rebounds.

With his fine performance, Marion put to rest the rumor that he’s soft or a cancer.

Yes, for some reason that unflattering rumor exists. Nothing overt, but the whispers about Marion are out there.

In Jack McCallum’s book, Seven Seconds or Less, the Suns’ coaching staff takes a few shots at  Marion’s game.

And whenever Phoenix hits a rough patch, Marion’s name gets included in trade rumors. Of course, the Suns instantly deny the rumors, but, again, it’s out there.

Well, Marion’s game five performance deserves praise. In this monumental match-up, with Stoudemire and Diaw suspended, he scored and rebounded.

With the game tied at 79-79, late in the fourth quarter, Marion nailed a clutch drive to put the Suns ahead.

On defense, Marion guarded the 5-spot. And Marion also guarded the 1-spot. What other player in The Association could that?

I don’t know if the Suns can come from behind to win this series. I do know Shawn Marion’s all-round game deserves respect.

{{Random Observations:}}

-Did anyone else see Bruce Bowen karate chopping Steve Nash’s arm on a fourth quarter drive?

-Should Mike D’Antonio have subbed out Kurt Thomas in the fourth quarter?

-San Antonio is a different team when Manu Ginobili is playing well. Forget his turnovers. The Argentine is a great player.

-Michael Finley’s playing well for the Spurs. Nothing spectacular or flashy. Just a blue-collar effort. The re-birth of ‘Fin’ is nice to see. He’s a classy veteran.

-Even with Phoenix’s depleted roster, Jalen Rose got no PT. I like Rose. I wonder what he could have done? Especially since James Jones looked shaky.  Even Pat Burke got some burn.

-Raja Bell’s a gutsy, tough player. He’s also a great actor. Did you see him flop after Ginobili hit him with a minor push-off? Bell must be taking lessons from the all-time master of the flop, Vlade Divac.

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