Final

San Antonio wins series 4-1 (Game 5 of 5)

San Antonio wins series 4-1

Game 1: Saturday, April 19th
Suns115Final
2OT
Spurs117
Game 2: Tuesday, April 22nd
Suns96Final
Spurs102
Game 3: Friday, April 25th
Spurs115Final
Suns99
Game 4: Sunday, April 27th
Spurs86Final
Suns105
Game 5: Tuesday, April 29th
Suns87Final
Spurs92

Suns 87

(55-27, 25-16 away)

Spurs 92

(56-26, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: TNT

    8:30 PM ET, April 29, 2008

    AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    PHX 26 19 27 1587
    SA 30 24 15 2392

    Top Performers

    Phoenix: B. Diaw 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    San Antonio: T. Duncan 29 Pts, 17 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Ahead 3-1, Spurs see Game 5 as a must-win

    SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- For the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday's night Game 5 against San Antonio is a must-win.

    The Spurs, who get their second straight chance to finish off the Suns, are treating it that way, too.

    Even though the defending champions have a 3-1 series lead, they want to wrap it quickly and avoid a return trip to Phoenix.

    "We know that winning a Game 6 there is going to be really tough. If we don't, then Game 7 we know is a lottery," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. "We don't even have to think that there's a Game 6 or Game 7. We have to take (Game 5) as a Game 7. We know we have a great opportunity at home."

    The Suns denied the Spurs what would have been a surprising sweep in four games with an energetic and convincing 105-86 rout at home in Game 4 on Sunday. They've extended their postseason at least one more game and plan to come to San Antonio with the same focus that sparked Boris Diaw's near triple-double and Raja Bell's 27 points.

    "We're down 3-1, we know we've got a long road to go, but we don't think about the series, we think about Tuesday," Suns coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We can win Tuesday. That's the only thing we're thinking about. That's definitely a possibility and that's what we want to make a reality."

    In the first two games, Phoenix built double-digit lead in the first half, only to give them away and allow the Spurs to rally. Not Sunday. The Suns controlled the game end-to-end.

    And considering their double-overtime loss in the opener, the Suns don't feel like 3-1 is an accurate reflection of the series.

    "In our minds, we feel the series should be 2-2," Suns big man Shaquille O'Neal said. "We let the first one slip away."

    As the series shifts to San Antonio, any shred of momentum they gained in Game 4 will be tested. But the Suns say their confidence is up.

    "If we play as well as we did yesterday, we'll win, and that's all that we're focusing on," D'Antoni said.

    D'Antoni said Diaw will start Game 5 in place of Grant Hill, who didn't play Sunday and may sit out Tuesday because of a sore right groin.

    "I don't think we're there. I don't think he can play," D'Antoni said. "We'll see. It will always be an open possibility. Boris will start and we'll see from there."

    Diaw started on Sunday and it seemed to work just fine. He made life hard on Spurs point guard and fellow Frenchman Tony Parker, who shot 7-of-17 from the field for 18 points. The 6-foot-8 Diaw also scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists.

    "He's a great player, he's a tough cover, he's got a lot of different skills at his height," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "He's just a fine player and Mike knows how to use him. He was a big problem for us."

    While the Suns like their chances, history doesn't bode well for them. No NBA team has come back from 0-3 to win a series.

    Are these Suns the ones? This series was billed as the first-round matchup to watch, with plenty of predictions that it would run the full seven games.

    "We're just excited to be alive still. After being 3-0, it's nice to feel like we have a little life," Suns point guard Steve Nash said.

    After rolling over the Suns in Game 3 and looking like they were on their way to a sweep, the Spurs said that they played a little too "relaxed" in Game 4. Coupled with the Suns' explosiveness, Game 4 was decided early for Phoenix, with Popovich pulling his stars late in the third quarter.

    Popovich said the team focused on watching film on Monday.

    "In general they played a great game," Popovich said. "They had an edge, they were physical. They executed well, they did most things better than we did."

    Now, Ginobili said, the Spurs must take care of business at home, where they lost just seven games all season.

    "We stopped doing the things that gave us results," Ginobili said. "We let them loose and that's the worst thing you can do against Phoenix."

    While the game plan may not change, it's the energy and aggressiveness that must improve, said the Spurs' Bruce Bowen.

    "We were embarrassed as well. Part of it is the fact that as basketball players, the last thing you want to do is not give a great effort," Bowen said. "We have to come out with a better effort than we did last game."

    ---

    AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Phoenix contributed to this report.

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