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San Antonio Spurs (1-1) at Phoenix Suns (1-1), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Suns try to capitalize on the friendly crowd at
America West Arena when they welcome the San Antonio Spurs there for Game 3 of
their best-of-seven series.
Phoenix stole Game 1 at SBC Center when Stephon Marbury banked in a trey as
time expired in overtime to give the Suns a 96-95 victory. The mercurial Suns'
guard has combined for 58 points in the first two games.
San Antonio answered with a 84-76 victory in Monday's Game 2. Tim Duncan
scored 11 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch free
throws with 33.5 seconds remaining.
The Spurs were without both David Robinson, sidelined with a slight cartilage
tear in his left knee, and Kevin Willis, who was suspended for hitting Scott
Williams with an elbow in Game 1. Robinson is questionable for tonight's
San Antonio was 19-of-25 from the charity stripe in Game 2 after missing far
too many free throws in Game 1 (26-of-41).
Phoenix was inept from behind the arc in Game 2 and shot just 1-of-17 from
"It came down to missed shots," said Suns coach Frank Johnson. "We took some
quick shots [and] defensively we weren't as sharp. We became hesitant, for
Johnson knows that in order to win the series, his team must contain Duncan.
"I did not think that we had the defensive discipline the second game as we
had the first game," Johnson said. "They tried to certainly start Tim Duncan
away from the ball and then bring him in. And we've got to be in a position
to hit him hard, not to hit him passive and be very aggressive. However they
try to make the plays look different, it ends up the same and we've got to end
up the same way, and that's hitting him hard."
Marbury has blown by San Antonio's Tony Parker seemingly at will in this
series. Johnson is pleased with the play of his backcourt.
"I think where Steph is really doing the job on him is offensively," Johnson
said of Parker. "He is so set on trying to stop Steph, and you don't stop good
players one-on-one, you do it team-wise. I think in his mind he's got to stop
Stephon. You can't do that like we can't stop Duncan one-on-one, we've got to
do it from a team standpoint. If we're saying for Scott Williams or Amaré
[Stoudemire] or whoever, to play Tim Duncan one-on-one, we're in trouble."
Phoenix captured the regular-season series over San Antonio 3-1, which made it
the only Western Conference team to win its season series with the Spurs.
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