Amare Stoudemire should get kicked in the crotch more often. If it causes him to score 24 points and get 23 rebounds each game, maybe he'd even agree to it. Ok, maybe not. Especially since he was doing fairly well during the whole game. It wasn't just the last quarter that he did so well. Although it helped that the Spurs seemed to fall apart with 3 minutes left in the game and Amare could just bowl over people.
Just to point out, my prediction of at least one analyst saying what I said did come true - kind of. In the 3rd quarter, Doug Collins said something like, "The Suns need this game a lot more than the Spurs. They've had 2 days of rest, the Spurs are coming off a back-to-back game and Suns are 0-6 against the top west teams (note: he's including the Lakers in there which is kind of stupid, I think). This is a must-win for the Suns." Luckily, he didn't say anything about it not having playoff potential. I tried to listen to the TNT guys after the game and I didn't hear them say anything about how this game didn't matter because it was the regular season either. So that's good. Because I probably would have through something through my TV.
Back to the game, Manu Ginobli loves playing the Suns. For some reason, he brings out all the moves. I saw at least two times that he did a little behind the back move to go in for a layup. And another time that he did it and then passed out to a three-point shooter. He scored 32 points for the game. With Raja Bell out nursing a bum knee (he should play in Utah on Saturday as there was only swelling, no structural damage that they could find in an MRI), there really isn't anyone who will play Ginobli rough. That is, until he drives, leads with his knee and hits Amare in the "onions" (that's Charles Barkley's term for it, not mine). Amare got really, really upset with Ginobli. It looked like a direct hit and then a little insult to injury when Ginobli extended his leg while falling. Did he mean to do it? No, I don't think so. I think he leads with his knee but there's nothing in the rule book that says you can't do that. And the extension of the knee is what you do when you fall. It's not like he swung his leg almost out of his socket to hit Amare, like Kobe did to Ginobli with his arm.
This was a good win for the Suns but not only because they hadn't beaten the Spurs this year. It was also good because the game was very close even with about 3 minutes to go. At 2:46 left in the 4th quarter, I remember my dad commenting, "This is where they'll start playing lock-down defense." And they did. The Spurs couldn't make anything after that point and the Suns blew them out.
Besides Amare, Shawn Marion had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Steve Nash had 13 points and 11 assists, Boris Diaw had 16 points and Leandro Barbosa brought much needed energy off the bench when the Suns were down by double-digits early. He ended with 25 points.
One other thing. I think the Suns were down 16-6 at one point. The Suns game back and tied the game early in the 2nd quarter. Doug Collins kept his mouth shut about that. But when the Suns had a 9 point lead in the 3rd quarter and then the Spurs came within one, he used his famous line, "The Suns are a team of runs. You're never out of it with the Phoenix Suns. They'll get a big lead on you but they'll always let you back in the game. No deficit is too big when you're playing the Phoenix Suns." Why didn't he even MENTION that the Spurs had a huge lead early and gave it up? If it was the Suns, he would have pulled out his graphics of all the big leads the Suns had lost this year, saying the Suns needed to close teams out when they got leads and everything. When the Spurs do it? Nothing. That's just a small pet peeve of mine.