Stoudemire leads 'Los Suns' over Spurs | 110-102
PHOENIX – Los Suns ganaron. That means the Suns won. Amare Stoudemire had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Channing Frye made 5 of 6 3-pointers, and Phoenix, wearing its orange "Los Suns" jerseys in part to protest Arizona's new anti-immigration law, pulled away for a 110-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, taking a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Steve Nash and Jason Richardson scored 19 apiece and Grant Hill added 18 in a grind-it-out game played at the Spurs' pace until the Suns started hitting 3-pointers. After starting 1 of 7 from long range Phoenix made eight of its next 12.
Tim Duncan had 29 points and 10 rebounds and Richard Jefferson rebounded from a poor Game 1 with 18 points and 10 boards for San Antonio. Tony Parker added 20 points for the Spurs.
The best-of-seven series shifts to San Antonio for Game 3 on Friday night.
Manu Ginobili, guarded mainly by Hill, was 2 of 8 from the field, including just 1 of 2 in the second half, but had 11 assists for San Antonio.
The Spurs outshot Phoenix 51 percent to 42 percent but the Suns outrebounded taller San Antonio 49-37, 18-7 on the offensive boards. Stoudemire made just 5 of 16 shots but was 11 of 13 at the free throw line. The Suns outscored the Spurs by 14 at the line, going 29 of 37 to San Antonio's 15 of 22.
The score was nearly identical to Game 1, won by Phoenix 111-102.
Referee Ron Garretson left the game after the third quarter with a leg injury. Fellow ref Joey Crawford said Garretson injured his Achilles' tendon. Substitute referee David Jones worked the final quarter.
The Suns trailed the entire first half before climbing into a 51-51 tie at the break. They had a precarious 78-76 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Stoudemire scored six points and Hill made two free throws in an 8-1 spurt that put Phoenix ahead 103-92 with 3:34 to play and San Antonio never recovered.
Parker's 3-pointer and Duncan's rebound dunk cut the lead to 103-97 with 2 1/2 minutes to go, but Nash floated in an underhanded left-handed bank shot and Richardson hit a 17-footer to end the comeback.
There was almost no evidence in the loud arena of the storm stirred up on Tuesday when Suns owner Robert Sarver issued a statement saying the team would wear "Los Suns" on their jerseys, to celebrate diversity on Cinco de Mayo but also to protest the immigration bill passed by the Arizona legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer. The bill has drawn criticism from civil rights groups and others, including President Barrack Obama, who called it "misguided."
Obama even mentioned the issue at a news conference Wednesday, referring to the series between the Spurs "and Los Suns of Phoenix."
There was one lone protester outside the arena and few if any seemed to boycott the game, as some had threatened on talk radio early in the day.
NOTES: Portland coach Alvin Gentry says injured C Robin Lopez will travel with the team to San Antonio but there is no timetable on when he might appear in a game. ... The "Los Suns" jerseys were worn twice in the regular season, both Phoenix victories. ... Sarver gave his usual center court seats to his children at the far end of the front row. ... George Hill again was San Antonio's starting point guard but Parker started the second half for the second straight game and played 36 minutes to Hill's 30.