Spurs hit a Snag in Game Two

Written by Randy Watson

 One thing that is certain about the Spurs: Tim Duncan will come to play every night.  The problem in Game Two was that no one else for San Antonio did, and Phoenix was able to cruise to a confortable 101-81 win, and tie the series up at a game apiece.  The Suns added some height to their starting line-up, starting Kurt Thomas alongside Amare Stoudamire, in hopes of slowing down Duncan.  Results were mixed, as Duncan scored 29 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, and had two blocks, but he did find himself in foul trouble in much of the second half.

San Antonio had won five playoff games in a row before this set back, but that streak came to a crashing halt with this 20 point blow out.  Now the Spurs have to hold at home to win the series.

Nothing went right for San Antonio for much of the game.  Besides Duncan, there were few of his teammates that stepped up to help.  Tony Parker, who torched the Suns in Game 1, only managed 13 points on 5-14 shooting.  Micheal Finley, who had been very hot of late, accounted for 11, and Manu Ginobili, who has been almost non-existent in the playoffs, had another sub par game, only scoring 6 points.  Tim Duncan can do lots of things--play defense, score lots of points, pull down insane numbers of rebounds—but he can’t win a playoff game by himself.

For the Suns, Steve Nash returned from an ugly cut on his nose late in Game 1, to score 20 points, and dish out 16 assists.  With Thomas starting for Phoenix, Stoudamire was able to relax a bit on defense and concentrate more on scoring.  As such, he scored 27 points, and pulled down 9 rebounds.  Even the more defensive-minded Raja Bell got into the act, scoring 18 points.

But for San Antonio, what’s done is done.  In the big picture, they have stolen home court advantage, and return this weekend to San Antonio with a chance to take a 3-1 lead in the series, if they can take the next two games.  Players like Finley and Horry have stepped up in the past to give the Spurs a boost when they needed it, but Manu Ginobili has to do more than score 6 points.

Tim Duncan will always be Tim Duncan, but for San Antonio to keep rolling in the playoffs, his teammates must come stronger than they did in Game 2.