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Phoenix at San Antonio

Spurs hold down fort, overcome Suns to take 2-0 lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN ANTONIO -- Speedy Tony Parker rushed toward the basket on the fast break, then slammed into the 320-pound wall known as Shaquille O'Neal and fell to the floor.

"He was trying to play physical," the Spurs point guard said. "But that's not going to stop me."

Parker and Manu Ginobili got to the rim time and again on Tuesday and San Antonio beat the Phoenix Suns 102-96 -- this time without double overtime or a game-saving 3-pointer from Tim Duncan -- to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 series.

Parker scored 32 points and Ginobili added 29 for the Spurs, who kept their home-court advantage in tact and will play Game 3 on Friday in Arizona.

"Between him (Parker) and Manu those guys were at the rim all night and making some shots over their bigs," said Duncan, who had 18 points and 17 rebounds. "Just a great game for both of them."

For the second successive game, the Suns lost a double-digit, first-half lead. The Spurs were down by as many as 14 early before outscoring the Suns 27-11 in a breakout third quarter to take control.

"I guess we had an offensive meltdown in the third quarter," Suns point guard Steve Nash said. "It just wasn't a productive quarter. Offensively we lost our rhythm and that was pivotal."

The defending champions racked up a 56-42 advantage in the paint and they beat Phoenix at what has traditionally been the Suns' game, outscoring them 23-4 on the break.

Of taking on O'Neal in the paint, Parker joked that "on a good day, I'm like 160 (pounds)."

"If he wants to go in and play amongst those big dudes, they're going to put him on the ground," Suns guard Raja Bell said. "And if he can keep getting up and doing it, God bless him."

The Spurs still had to withstand a fourth-quarter surge that got the Suns within five points with 14 seconds to play.

Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 33 points but struggled after halftime, when he shot 2-for-11 from the field.

"We had beaten them (two) straight times, now they've beaten us twice; it just happens to be in the playoffs," Nash said. "We're just going to have to play really well at home and get back on a streak."

The Spurs went up by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter after taking control in the third. But Nash led a 10-0 run to bring Phoenix within 96-91 with 2:44 left on the clock.

Duncan had a dunk with 1:47 to play and Parker followed with a bucket to put San Antonio back up 101-93.

Then Stoudemire hit only his sixth 3-pointer of the season with 14 seconds left -- a la Duncan's game-saving 3 to force a second overtime in Game 1 -- to make it 101-96. After that, the Suns resorted to fouling, and it was too late.

Nash had 23 points and 10 assists for the Suns. O'Neal had 19 points and 14 rebounds.

The Suns had five turnovers in the third quarter and went 3-for-18 in the period, leaving them with an 81-72 deficit with a quarter to play.

Ginobili hit his third 3 of the game early in the fourth and Parker followed, weaving his way through orange-shirted defenders and to the basket for a layup that put San Antonio up 86-73 with 10:40 to play.

"A couple of times they (Parker and Ginobili) got to the basket," O'Neal said. "We just have to make it tough for them to do that."

Another score by Parker put the Spurs up 94-77 before the Suns started chipping away. O'Neal hit one of two from the line and Nash's dead-on 3 brought Phoenix within 94-81.

Parker pushed the Spurs back up by 15 before Nash led the run that threatened the Spurs' victory.

The Suns' Grant Hill, who has been bothered by a groin injury and wasn't 100 percent for Game 1, played less than 20 minutes in Game 2 and didn't score.

The Suns shot 61 percent in the first half but couldn't sustain it. The Spurs cut the lead each time before Phoenix could build it back up.

O'Neal didn't get into foul trouble on Tuesday the way he did in Game 1, and it showed. He played more than 18 minutes in the first half and had four blocks and 11 points.

And Stoudemire could neither miss nor be stopped. He was 11-for-14 from the field, penetrating the paint and hitting jumpers for 25 first-half points.

But the Spurs came within striking distance by adopting the Suns' quick game. San Antonio had 18 fast-break points, led by Parker and Ginobili, in the half to the Suns' two.

The Suns led 61-54 at the break.

Michael Finley started the third quarter with eight points of an 11-0 Spurs run and tied the score at 61 with a mid-range jumper.

The Suns came out looking disorganized and missed eight consecutive shots. They didn't score until 5:35 was left in the third quarter off Nash's fadeaway jumper.

The Spurs went up by 71-63 when Duncan, posted under the basket, passed to an open Ime Udoka for an easy layup.

Notes

  • Ginobili was presented the NBA's sixth man award, which he won on Monday, before tipoff. Suns G Leandro Barbosa, who won the award last year, came in second. "I think he (Ginobili) should start so that way LB (Barbosa) could get it," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni joked. "I think he's (Ginobili) one of the best players in the league. Sixth man, first man, third man, he should be on the All-Star team."
  • Barbosa was 0-for-7 from the field and didn't score Tuesday.
  • Spurs F Robert Horry played for the first time since March 21, when he went out with a left knee contusion. He had a big block on O'Neal with about 3½ minutes left in the first half.
  • Late in the third, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich started the so-called "Hack-a-Shaq" -- having his players intentionally foul O'Neal, a 52 percent career free-throw shooter. It backfired, though, and O'Neal went 5-for-6 from the foul line during the span. "I think he made the strategy look stupid," Popovich said.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Point guard Tony Parker gives San Antonio a lift with his team-high 32 points in Game 2.  (AP)
Point guard Tony Parker gives San Antonio a lift with his team-high 32 points in Game 2. (AP)

Scoreboard
Phoenix (0-2) 3526112496
San Antonio (2-0) «26282721102
PHO:A. Stoudemire 33 Pts
PHO:S. O'Neal 14 Reb
PHO:S. Nash 10 Ast
SA:T. Parker 32 Pts
SA:T. Duncan 17 Reb
SA:T. Parker 7 Ast
Players of the Game
San AntonioPhoenix

T. Parker

A. Stoudemire
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
32373371
Phoenix
A. Stoudemire, C4113-256-971333
R. Bell, SG402-72-25148
S. Nash, PG3910-152-2110123
S. O'Neal, C366-137-14140419
G. Hill, SG200-10-05010
B. Diaw, SF254-81-22139
L. Barbosa, PG240-70-04320
G. Giricek, SG152-40-01014
E. Piatkowski, SGDid Not Play
S. Marks, CDid Not Play
B. Skinner, PFDid Not Play
L. Johnson, PFDid Not Play
D. Strawberry, SGDid Not Play
A. Tucker, SFDid Not Play
Totals 37-8018-2939161996
 46.2%62.1% 
San Antonio
T. Duncan, PF428-202-6174018
T. Parker, PG4013-256-837132
M. Finley, SG344-50-02018
B. Bowen, SF230-20-05220
F. Oberto, C202-20-06044
M. Ginobili, SG339-178-933229
I. Udoka, SF152-62-23036
K. Thomas, PF130-20-02060
B. Barry, SG112-20-01015
J. Vaughn, PG50-10-00110
R. Horry, PF30-10-00010
D. Stoudamire, PGDid Not Play
D. Johnson, SFDid Not Play
M. Bonner, PFDid Not Play
I. Mahinmi, CDid Not Play
Totals 40-8318-25421721102
 48.2%72.0% 
Other Games
Dal 103 Final
NO 127
Tor 103 Final
Orl 104