DALLAS -- The Phoenix Suns are going to need another Game 7
if they're going to make it to the NBA Finals. First, though,
they've got to win Game 6.
"We just got discombobulated in the fourth quarter," Shawn
Marion said. "We had it going our way, then the next thing you
know we just went the other way."
The running Suns couldn't keep up with Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki.
"We didn't actually play very well, but we fought well for a
long time tonight," Nash said.
Maybe they're finally wearing down.
Phoenix had to go seven games against both the Los Angeles
Lakers and Clippers to get this far. Plus, they had to overcome a
3-1 deficit to win the first-round series against the Lakers.
To get to the NBA Finals, Phoenix will have to win at home on
Saturday night -- their fifth elimination game this postseason. Then
they would have come back to Dallas on Monday night.
"I don't think we enjoy (adversity), but I think we're more
ready, more aggressive and we play our best when we have our backs
to the wall," said Boris Diaw, held to a series-low 16 points.
Even when the Suns charged to a seven-point lead in the third
quarter, they were never in control. Not with Nowitzki on way to a
playoff career-high 50 points, after being held to 11 in Phoenix's
106-86 victory in Game 4.
Tim Thomas had a playoff career-high 26 points, but didn't score
again after the last of his six 3s.
Phoenix was within 89-88 with nine minutes left when Bell was
called for foul against Josh Howard, who had appeared to do some
pushing of his own. Then the Suns got frustrated.
Bell argued and was called for a technical foul. Coach Mike
D'Antoni got a technical, too, when he had words with the
"They didn't help anything. That's for sure," D'Antoni said.
"That was definitely a turning point."
Nowitzki hit both free throws after a timeout, then an 18-foot
jumper to make it 93-88.
Within a couple of minutes later, the Mavericks led by 10 when
Nowitzki hit two more free throws after being fouled by Marion.
Bell, a surprise starter in Game 4 despite a partially torn left
calf when he scored nine points, had three points on 1-of-5
shooting in 29 minutes Thursday. D'Antoni pulled him out of the
game after the technical foul, but not because of that call.
"For sure, he's not 100 percent. ... As long as the series
goes, he gets a little better and he'll be ready to go in Game 6,"
"I didn't feel like I was helping the team, and Mike saw
that," Bell said. "I felt decent. It's getting better. I'm not
recovering on the timetable I would like, but I'm trying to make
Nash still had 11 assists, but his 20 points came on 5-of-17
shooting and 9-of-9 free throws. The two-time MVP was scoreless in
the third quarter, as was Bell, when Nash's former teammate and
good buddy began to completely take over the game.
"They got separation from us, and we didn't play well after
that," Nash said. "We just want to play a better game and put
together 48 minutes like we did in Game 5 ... what was that, 4? I'm
That's what happens when there's no time to rest.