This game wasn't about the Suns not coming out with enough intensity or about the Suns not shooting well because they weren't trying. It was about San Antonio coming out and playing out of their minds on defense. They controlled the tempo from the start and made sure the Suns missed the majority of their shots (they shot 38.6% for the game).
I really wish this game was closer in the second half. I wanted to rip on the refs for being inconsistent and for allowing Tim Duncan to get away with things that Amare Stoudemire never would get away with. Have you ever noticed that Duncan literally complains on EVERY SINGLE CALL whether it is against him or against a teammate? There was a call against Tony Parker late in the 3rd quarter that was obviously a foul and after the call I looked at Tim Duncan who had his arms way up in the air, outstretched and he's yelling at the ref. What do you think would have happened if Amare would have done that? Yeah, he would have gotten a technical just as quick as a Ginobli flop. Of course, Bruce Bowen did get T'ed up right after that play for actually stomping his foot after a call. I thought that was pretty funny.
But I don't want this recap to be about the refs. It wasn't the refs' fault the Suns shot 38%. And it wasn't the refs fault the Suns had one less assist than the Spurs or got within 4 with 2 minutes to go and just couldn't get the job done. The Spurs came in with a game plan and stuck to it. The Suns came in with a game plan and were taken out of it by the Spurs.
Steve Nash had a Dirk Nowitzki-esque performance last night: 6-14 shooting (43% - still better than Dirk's performance against the Suns), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 turnovers, 5 personal fouls, 20 points. None of the rest of the team did much better. LB scored 12 points on 5-18 shooting. Amare scored 15 points on 7-19 shooting and had 8 rebounds. Shawn shot fairly well - 6-11 shooting for 17 points.
What really happened last night? The Suns fouled way too much and got out of their rhythm. Slowing the game down by fouling lets the Spurs get into their game plan and at that point, they didn't let it go. The Suns had their chances at the end of the game but couldn't improve their shooting skills the last two minutes and they ended up losing by 7. Spurs 92, Suns 85
The Suns are only two games up in the win column over San Antonio now. They need to either win out the rest of the season or hope the Spurs choke some games away. It's going to be close either way.
The Suns have a game tonight against the Hornets to try and get back on track. More on that game later today.