Spurs Take Game 3; Win 108-101

I didn't post right after the game because I wanted to gather my thoughts.  I really thought the officiating tonight was horrendous.  Touch fouls called on Amare, no calls when Steve was going to the basket (one right in front of the ref where both of Nash's arms were grabbed and he lost the ball), the knee to Nash's groin that was so obviously a flagrant foul it was unbelievable (the only thing I'll say about that is that Bowen knows he can get away with it.  He obviously has pictures of David Stern that he's using against him).  But when it came down to it, the reffing wasn't what lost the game.  

The Suns had a 10 point lead in the first half and for some reason just couldn't hold onto it.  I won't say that the Suns got complacent because I didn't see that tonight.  But for whatever reason, the Suns just couldn't make shots after the first quarter.  Steve was missing very easy shots that he would make 99 times out of 100.  Leandro Barbosa just didn't shoot well (2-6 for 6 points),  Steve shot even worse (6-17 for 16 points) and Kurt Thomas missed a few very easy layups that just didn't go.

But again tonight's game was lost on offensive rebounds and free throws.  The Suns shot 66% from the free throw line while the Spurs shot 80%.  The Suns missed 9 free throws.  They lost by 7.  They gave up 11 offensive rebounds and only got 5.

Do I think the Suns' season is over now?  Not by a long shot.  Despite how poorly they played and how terribly the officiating was, the Suns still only lost by 7 and actually had it within 6 with about 2 minutes to go in the game.  This game was winnable.  If Steve would have been on his game in the first half or if the Suns would have made just a few more free throws, this game could have gone the other way.

Sure, the Suns have to make some adjustments.  Somehow, they have to get the refs to see that Bowen is grabbing and pulling Nash all over the place.  With all of the crap that he did tonight against Steve, guess how many fouls he had during the game.  2 fouls.  Yep, that's right, 2 fouls.  One one of those should have gotten him at least a flagrant.

Spurs fans will point to Shawn Marion's eye-poke of Ginobili.  But if you look at it, it was obviously an accident and 9 times out of 10 would never be called for a foul.  The knee to Nash's groin was an obvious act and I hope is finally reviewed by the league.  I still don't think Bowen will get suspended for it but I do hope the league lets the refs know to watch him a bit closer for things like this.

Overall, the Suns played about as poorly as they could play and they still had a chance to win at the end.  I like their chances on Monday night.  Of course, if the worst happens and they lose that game, I may be singing a different tune after that.

What are your thoughts on the game?  What can the Suns do better defensively against the Spurs on Monday?  Is there anything the did well that you would like to see continued in Monday night's game?

My key to Monday's game?  Foul less!  I don't know how.  But I know if KT wouldn't have gotten in foul trouble and forced Mike D'Antoni to play Boris Diaw on Duncan, the Suns would have had a better chance.  And I know if Amare would have played more than a measly 21 minutes, the Suns would have had a chance.  The only player on the Suns who got into the game and played less minutes was James Jones.  And probably the only reason Junior got those 7 minutes was because Amare was in foul trouble.

ARGH!!!  This whole game was just frustrating!  I'm going to bed so I can forget the whole thing.  I may not even get on the web site tomorrow I'm so frustrated.  So if you don't hear from me until Monday, you know why.  It's probably because I threw the stupid computer through the window.

Leave your comments.  I'll read them on Monday.