NBA Playoffs: Phoenix Suns Survive Game 4
The Suns were all smiles after Game 4 Sunday afternoon which saw them survive elimination and what would of been a sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, defeating them 105-86 and forcing the series back to San Antonio for Game 5 on Tuesday.
The Suns were led by Raja Bell who had 27 points and was 5/7 from the 3pt line.
Boris Diaw also played like he had the talent of his mother, who is known as France's all time greatest Center.
Diaw contributed with 20 points 10 rebounds and 8 assists, 2 short of a triple double.
The Suns came out as a team possessed in the first quarter jumping out to a 28-9 lead which was then stretched out to 34-13 at the end of the quarter.
San Antonio was held to just over 21% from the field in the first quarter.
The Suns at one point were up in the 2nd half by 30+ points, and this all went down with Amare Stoudemire only scoring 7 points tonight.
Suns workhorse Grant Hill sat out this game due to his lingering injury that has slowed him down much of the playoffs.
When asked what D'Antoni thought of Diaws performance in filling in for Hill in the starting lineup D'Antoni said, " I trust him, I always have. I think he's a heck of a basketball player. He's been maligned here a little bit, but he can play. He stepped up big"
The Suns seemd to find that edge that they had lost since their Game 1 heartbreaking loss in double OT which then followed all the way to being dominated at home Friday night in what was a non inspired performance.
Shaquille O'neal had a solid game with 14 points and 12 boards, he also added a little toughness getting in the face of many Spurs players including Bruce Bowen.
Shaq was 6/10 from the line in a game that saw Spurs Coach Greg Popovich implament the hack a Shaq strategy.
The Suns seemed to have come out with a lot of pride and did not want to get swept, after being embarrassed thus far this was definitely a jolt that might wake them up.
Raja Bell added, "I was really embarrassed by my play and the team's play after the last game. It was hard to sleep, I was restless. I couldn't put it to bed."
Even late in the game coach D'Antoni kept at it, even getting ejected by the refs late in the game in what might have been a battle cry to his team that they need to keep this intensity going throughout the rest of this series.
Before the game D'Antoni left on the whiteboard in the Suns locker room a note.
The note read, Tomorrow April 28, 10am-practice, 12pm-bus to airport, April 29- Game 5 vs Spurs.
That will most likely be the attitude the Suns have the rest of this series, take it one game at a time. The Suns can definitely reel off a string of wins in this series and could potentially get this series to a game 6 or 7.
No team in NBA history has ever come back from down 0-3 in a best of seven series, and its only happened 3 time in any of the 3 sports that have a best of seven series.
Could the Suns be the first team to do this?
Time will only tell, but till then they must take it one game at a time.
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