Jackson and Ginobili sank two 3-pointers apiece in a decisive
12-2 fourth-quarter run, and Duncan had his second career playoff
triple-double as the Spurs pulled away to beat the pesky Phoenix
Suns 87-85 Thursday night.
"This team has been giving us trouble all year,'' Jackson said
of the Suns. "We're definitely happy we're through with those
Duncan shot just 4-of-12 for 15 points, but had 20 rebounds and
"That's my job, to quarterback out there,'' Duncan said.
The West's No. 1 seed won the series 4-2 and advanced to play
the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round beginning Monday night.
Los Angeles has eliminated San Antonio from the playoffs the past
two seasons, winning eight of nine games, although the Spurs swept
the four-game season series against the Lakers.
Jackson, playing with a strained tendon in his lower right leg,
added 19 points -- nine in the fourth quarter. He was 5-for-9 from
"When your team needs you, you've got to come out and help
them,'' Jackson said. "If that means playing hurt or playing beat
up, you've got to do it, and that's what it takes to win.''
Tony Parker added 17 points, and Ginobili scored 12 by going on
"I knew that with our double-teaming, that if they were able to
hit their outside shots, we'd be doomed,'' Phoenix coach Frank
Shawn Marion had 24 points and 15 rebounds for Phoenix, but his
only points of the fourth quarter came on a 3-point bank shot with
4.4 seconds to play and another 3 as the game ended.
Stephon Marbury, bothered by a nerve injury to his right
shoulder, had 18 points but made just five of 19 shots as the Suns
shot 36 percent. Marbury fouled out with 11 seconds to play.
"It wasn't as strong as it normally is, but I was able to
play,'' Marbury said of his shoulder. "They're a really good team.
Whenever you try to trap Tim Duncan, you're going to give up open
shots. They did what they were supposed to do as far as knocking
them down tonight.''
"The Suns were a great eighth seed,'' San Antonio coach Gregg
Popovich said. "If they had made their shots down the stretch, we
would probably be playing a seventh game.''
Duncan, who played 45 minutes, had his first playoff
triple-double last April 29 against Seattle. This was his fourth
"One thing you can always say about him is he's a quality
person,'' the Suns' Scott Williams said. "He went out there and played a hard, clean ballgame. He's their all-everything.''
Johnson's driving layup gave Phoenix its last lead, 71-69, with
6:10 to play. Then the 3-pointers began to fall for the Spurs.
Jackson made one to put the Spurs up for good, 72-71 with 5:54
to go. Ginobili, wide-open, made two, then Jackson sank another and
it was 81-74 with 3:44 to go.
"Manu and Jack just kind of took over,'' Duncan said. "Those
guys (the Suns) continued to double-team me in the post. We swung
the ball around and those guys were great. They knew the ball was
coming to them. They got ready, and they knocked them down.''
Penny Hardaway, just 4-for-13 for the game, made a 3-pointer
with 1:32 left to cut the lead to 83-79, but the Suns got no closer
until Marion's final shot at the buzzer.
Both teams had turnover problems. Phoenix committed 20, six in
the fourth quarter, resulting in 20 points for San Antonio. The
Spurs had 19, but only seven in the second half.
The young Phoenix team, a surprise all season, beat San Antonio
three of four times in the regular season and gave the Spurs
trouble in the playoffs. But the Suns couldn't overcome San
Antonio's tough defense. Phoenix shot less than 40 percent in all
four of its losses.
"We gave the Spurs a pretty good run, so I think we opened a
lot of eyes,'' Stoudemire said. "Don't count us out. We'll be back
The Suns seemed in good shape after Marion sank two 3-pointers
and Marbury one in a 9-0 run to start the second half that put
Phoenix up 52-41, its biggest lead of the series. Duncan and David
Robinson each missed two free throws during the Suns' surge.
Jackson's 3-pointer ignited an 11-0 run as San Antonio moved
ahead 63-59 on Malik Rose's inside basket with 53.9 seconds left in
the third. The Spurs led 64-61 entering the fourth.
San Antonio's reserves outscored their Phoenix counterparts
168-83 in the series, 28-13 in this game. ... The Spurs made more
free throws (139) than the Suns attempted (133) in the series. ...
Duncan took one shot in the first quarter. His first basket, and
second shot, resulted in a three-point play with 10:27 to go in the