The Phoenix Suns defended their home court advantage and took a 2-0 series lead in the Western conference semifinals over the San Antonio Spurs.
The ‘Los Suns’, as per the uniforms that the team was donning in honor of Latin American citizens, were led by Amare Stoudemire, who tabbed 23 points to go along with 11 rebounds on the night. Channing Frye came up big, knocking down five 3-point shots from beyond the arc, as the Sun got a 110-102 victory over the Spurs in Game 2.
The duo of Steve Nash and Jason Richardson each tabbed 19 points on the night, while Grant Hill contributed 18 in the winning effort.
On the other side of the court, Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson added 18 points and 10 rebounds after a forgettable Game 1 performance. Tony Parker tabbed 20 points on the night in the losing effort.
The series now shifts to San Antonio for Game 3, to be played on Friday.
“I have to say the impressive thing to me with the win was the team effort,” Nash remarked in a post-game interview. “So many guys made plays for our team tonight, and I can’t remember really being a part of a team that’s had so many guys step up and play well.”
The last member of the Big-3 for San Antonio was not able to convert many opportunities, shooting only 25 percent from the field (2 of 8). He distributed the ball effectively however, with 11 assists. Grant Hill blanketed Ginobli all night long.
“Grant Hill never ceases to amaze me,” remarked Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. “There’s a 37-year-old — he hates when I say that. Here’s a guy who plays on our team that’s been in the league for a long, long time. He just does a good job. Everything we ask him to do, never complains. He’s always on the best perimeter player. He never complains. He just plays. He’ll forever be my favorite player. He really will.”
San Antonio head coach Greg Popovich talked about Frye after the game and his 3-point making.
“He might have had one that was open, but the rest were contested,” Popovich remarked. “When he does that, they’re very, very difficult to guard.”
Despite the fact that the Spurs Shot 51 percent from the floor, the Suns benefited from second-chance points behind solid offensive rebounding and took 15 more free throw attempts.
Those two factors decided the outcome.
The Suns were wearing jerseys showing “Los Suns” in honor of Cinco De Mayo and the Latin American community, and in part to protest the recent law that was passed in Arizona relating to immigration.
“I’m proud of our owner for making this stand but we’re not out there to alienate,” Nash remarked after the game. “We want this to be all about love in our community. People, regardless of whether they agree with me or not, we have love for everybody.”
“The team stood up for that part of our community because I think that’s the side of this bill that could open the door to racial profiling and racism,” Nash added . “and I’m talking about American citizens who are Latino. Their quality of life and freedoms could change because of this bill.”
Phoenix is installed as the favorite in the series over San Antonio, and the second in the string of betting favorites to come out of the Western Conference, behind only the L.A Lakers on Online Sportsbooks