Thursday, March 15, 2007

Game of the Year? Phoenix Suns edge Dallas Mavericks

The Suns and Mavs staged an epic battle Wednesday night. But there can be only one winner. This time the Suns brought a little bit more to bear. Sad for me as a Mavericks fan but a sportsman should be a good loser.

Amare Stoudemire had 41 points and 10 rebounds, and Steve Nash scored 10 points in the final minute of regulation, capped by a tying 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left. He finished with 32 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds.

As for the Mavericks Jerry Stackhouse scored 33 points, his most in three seasons with Dallas, and Dirk Nowitzki added 30 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. He had eight points and seven rebounds in the third quarter, when the Mavs turned what had been a 16-point deficit into a 15-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Again close to a triple double, a good performance but not good enough this time.

Phoenix rallied by opening the fourth by making eight straight shots and 10-of-12. While that set up Nash's great finish, four missed free throws by Dallas - including two by Nowitzki - were equally important.
The Mavericks remained shaky at the start of overtime, then Jason Terry scored five points in the final 48 seconds, including a long 3 over Nash with 4.5 seconds to go that the second overtime.
Stoudemire helped Phoenix take it from there, although it still took a missed 8-footer by Nowitzki as time expired to end Dallas' 23-game home winning streak and tighten the race for the top seed in the Western Conference.

The next classic will take place on Sunday when the Detroit Pistons host the Dallas Mavericks. The best teams of the Eastern and the Western Conference will cross the blades. Another chance for a brick in the wall to become MVP for Dirk.


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8:18 PM  

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