If I get a chance tomorrow, I will re-watch the 20 or so minutes of game time I partially missed spanning the end of the second quarter and all the way into the fourth. I saw periodic bits and pieces, but being on the phone with the volume muted while also trying to fix a software problem doesn't make for the optimum circumstance to evaluate a game. I will say that the parts of the game I did watch with my full attention (both before and after Steve Nash's flu-induced exit) were very painful on the eyes. It didn't seem to me like either team was at its best, but that's probably understandable with the Suns playing without Grant Hill (appendectomy), and eventually without Nash too. The Pacers had their injury woes as well with Jermaine O'Neal out.
The Suns won the first quarter and even had 35 points, despite seeming a little out of sync. The Pacers were doing a nice job of defending any plays involving Nash and Amare Stoudemire, so we ended up with lots of open three pointers. Fortunately, the Suns were making those, although not quite at the pace they were a couple of nights ago against Denver. But the Pacers outscored the Suns by 10 in the second quarter, and continued to outplay the Suns through much of the third. The Pacers led by 16 at one point, but a mostly-second unit of Brian Skinner, Shawn Marion, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, and Marcus Banks keyed a run to bring the Suns back to within four heading into the fourth. Without Nash and Hill, and with Amare in occasional foul trouble, the Suns hung in there, tied it up, and had the ball with a second to go at the end of regulation. Leandro Barbosa appeared to be fouled on a shot at the buzzer (or to be more specific, it looked like Mike Dunleavy tried to take his head off!), but that old "let the players decide it" adage prevailed, and overtime it was. As is often the case when the home team rallies back for the extra period, the Suns finally got it done in the closing minutes. This certainly wasn't the prettiest game to watch, with lots of plays best categorized as "bone-headed" by both teams, but under the circumstances, I'll just be happy with the win.
I'm going to forgo Player of the Game and other "honors" tonight. First of all it's late. Second, I missed several key moments (including most of the big runs by both the Suns and the Pacers), so it wouldn't be a fair judgment anyway. I will say that it was very nice to see Raja Bell get his three-point shot back, and that he and Amare probably had the biggest impact in helping the Suns finally put this one away. Raja was 6-of-11 from three. I guess it's not hard to figure out who Marcus Banks passed his hot hand too.