Bench keys Suns’ win over Spurs

Phoenix 110, San Antonio 102

When starters Amare Stoudemire (23 points), Jason Richardson (19), Steve Nash (19) and Grant Hill (18) combine for 79 points, it may seem odd to give props to the Suns bench, but without Channing Frye’s 15 points (5-of-6 from 3PT) and Jared Dudley’s all-around game, Phoenix would have been in trouble.

Tim Duncan posted 29-10 for the Spurs, but was having a tough time matching up with the Suns on the defensive end. (By the way, Andrew Bogut got screwed out of 2nd Team All-Defensive honors. I realize that Duncan plays a lot of center, but he’s listed as a forward. Anderson Varejao made the 2nd Team at forward. Are they really serious that Varejao had a better defensive year than Bogut, who had the second most combined blocks, steals and charges in the league? They should have listed Duncan as a forward and given Varejao’s spot to Bogut.) Duncan was forced to guard Frye out on the perimeter, so at one point he switched over to Hill for a couple of possessions and Hill just dribbled into his range and knocked down a pair of key jumpers.

With this win in Game 2, the Suns own all the momentum in the series. Their mission now is to win one game in San Antonio, while the Spurs desperately need to win both Game 3 and Game 4 if they hope to come back and win this series.

It’s funny — for years, I’d always root for the Suns in their playoff matchups with the Spurs, but now I find myself rooting for San Antonio. Maybe they’re a bit of an underdog, or maybe they’re the team that could seriously challenge the Lakers in the Conference Finals. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two.

Anyway, they’re in big trouble, so there’s a great chance we’re going to see a Lakers/Suns matchup in the next round.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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