View Full Version : Spurs Outlast Depleted Suns, Win Game 5

05-17-2007, 01:29 AM
The AP

PHOENIX (AP) -- The severely short-handed Phoenix Suns (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=pho) almost pulled it off. Instead, it was heartbreak in the desert, and the San Antonio Spurs (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/clubhouse?team=sas) moved within one win of the Western Conference finals with an 88-85 victory.

Bruce Bowen (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3167) sank a 3-pointer with 36 seconds to play Wednesday night to put the Spurs ahead 84-81, their first lead since it was 11-10 six minutes into the game.

San Antonio held on from there to go up 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. The Spurs can close it out in Game 6 Friday night in San Antonio. The Suns, without their all-NBA center Amare Stoudemire (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3607) and his replacement Boris Diaw (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3724) and using essentially a six-man rotation, nearly won a grind-it-out kind of game the Suns aren't supposed to be able to play.

They led by as many as 16 in the second quarter and were up 79-71 with 5:18 to play.

Manu Ginobili (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3380), who had an awful start, scored 15 of his 26 points in the final quarter to rally the Spurs, sinking two free throws to put San Antonio ahead 86-83 with 10.5 seconds to go. Steve Nash (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3103) badly missed a 3-pointer against Tim Duncan (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3173)'s defense, then Michael Finley (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=3023) made two free throws with 5.5 seconds left to seal the win.

Stoudemire and Diaw were suspended for the game by the NBA for leaving the bench area following Robert Horry (http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/players/profile?statsId=830)'s flagrant foul on Nash with 18 seconds left in Game 4.

Horry got a two-game suspension. He also will miss Game 6.

But the Suns and their crowd were livid at what they felt was an unjust decision by commissioner David Stern and NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson.

They felt they got the worst of the ruling, even though a Spurs player instigated the incident. Signs in US Airways Center read "Burn Stern," "Stern and Stu Are Dirty Too," and "Free Amare."

The energy overwhelmed the Spurs -- for a while.