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NBA Playoffs, Lakers Suns Game 6: The Suns don't know self-pity, in fact they may be more confident now than ever

May 28, 2010, 2:17 PM EDT

Suns_celebrate.jpgThe Lakers players were still mobbing Ron Artest, the Staples Center crowd still singing “I Love LA” (and missing the irony of the lyrics).

The Suns had slid back into their locker room, and Suns coach Alvin Gentry said Steve Nash was the first to speak.

“Time to forget about this game, time to move on to the next one.”

For a lot of teams, that would be the cliché but not the reality. Human nature is to wallow in self-pity for a while, to let a painful loss bleed over into the next game.

Except the Suns can’t do that — that is a wall they feel against their back. And they won’t. It’s just not how this team is wired. Come tip-off Saturday night the Suns will be bombing away from three, running the pick-and-roll with a vengeance and busting it to win. Demoralizing loss?

“Not for that team,” Kobe Bryant said after the game, recognizing the reality of what is ahead. “I think that team bounced right back. Loosey goosey bunch. Just go out and play. I don’t think they’ll linger at all.”

They showed that in Game 5.

The Lakers led by 18 points in the third quarter — they were finally getting shots they liked inside, via dribble penetration and passing, and they were defending the pick-and-roll well. The Lakers have gone to taking away the roll guy and just hoping the threes don’t fall.

But the Suns started doing their thing.

“We just fought back,” Channing Frye said. “We’re a resilient bunch, and we just started believing in each other and just kind of playing our style of basketball, picking up the pace.”

Frye hit some threes, Jared Dudley got a four-point-play when he got Pau Gasol to foul him on a three-pointer. That was a big momentum turner. Things got tight.

Then there was Steve Nash, going bananas. He and Kobe started playing “anything you can do, I can do better” to the delight of true basketball fans everywhere. That was a show. The Lakers dared Nash to be the scorer, and he was.

But he and the Suns fell short. An unexpected, crazy play short. And that hurt. This is a franchise that continually seems to get to the brink but cannot break through.

Except that’s not how they see it. They see a series they were counted out of a week ago that they are still in. They see a game they could have won, and they left Staples Center that night maybe more confident than when they went in.

“You know, everything is okay,” Nash said. “We came back, obviously, with great effort. Maybe we deserve this game and maybe we didn’t. And lost. And they held home court. We’ll go back and do the same and we’ll come back here for Game 7.”

  1. Edward - May 28, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I don’t care how confident they are. Do anyone really think they will beat the Laker’s twice in a row considering the if they win game six, they have to come back to LA and win Game seven on the road? I personally don’t think that will happen.

  2. Ken - May 28, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Its funny to say, but Barkley said it best “veteran teams don’t care if they are on the road or not.” Playoff games aren’t determined by who has home court advantage, we know that because the #1 seed doesn’t always win the championship. The question is if the Suns can win two games in a row, and I think we got that answer game 3 and game 4. Do the Suns have a chance? Hell yeah they do…but the Lakers also have Kobe. We’ll see how it plays out.

  3. david saint - May 28, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    edward, look at the stats from game 5..Phx did not play well on O, and had they Artest never would have had the chance to be the hero.
    Also, check that Phx missed 9 free throws, again they make 4 or 5 of those and Artest’s tip in means nill…plus the 2nd unit never got a chance to get going in the 2nd with all those cheap fouls (im not singling them out for calls against Phx either, the calls were attrocious all the way around)..had they scored more than 2pts, again different game. You lakers fans give us no respect, and in the end, win or lose, you will at least have that for our SUNS..
    by the way, was i the only one who caught the NBA apparel commercials that ended with the logos of….just the lakers and celtics? things that make you go hmm…

  4. Edward - May 28, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    Ken, yeah they won two games in a row, games 3 and 4, but where? At home. There in lies your answer. Games 7 if necessary will be in LA, and I just don’t see how the Laker’s loose game 7 with Kobe on the team. Veretan team don’t loose many game 7 at home. At’s all am saying. I respect the Sun’s very much, but wining a game seven on the road is tough. Cehck the stats, you won’t see many teams winning a game seven on the road.

  5. Kevin - May 28, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    Well, you may be right and time will tell. But aren’t you overlooking the fact that they were just 4 tenths of a second from forcing overtime and maybe getting THREE in a row????

  6. larryb - May 28, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    And you are overlooking the fact that PHX had to hit 3 3 pointers along with a 4 point play in the 4th to get back into the game. I will give PHX respect for getting back into the game, but in the end they lost. Everygame in LA they have been behind by 10+ at some point in the second half. Now that they face and elimination game, ‘anxiety’ bound to set it. If they win Game 6 they will have to face that anxiety on the road, it will be even more difficult than their effort in Game 5. Can’t wait till sat.

  7. mick the ripper - May 28, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Edward, I’ve never see any team in the NBA LOOSE a game. Give respect where its deserved, this series can go either way. If you dont believe that you are just another bandwagon chump who doesnt know basketball. This has been a fantastic series so far.

  8. AmitK84 - May 28, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Of course the series can go both ways…the Suns’s ability to rebound in games banks on their starters getting much more rest than the Lakers since their bench contributes quality minutes unlike that of the Lakers….Lakers are better if you consider the starters alone…and Lamar…the rest of their bench a liability more often than not..and the key players end up being winded towards the end of the game from having to play well AND compensating for the bench’s screw-ups….Lakers will have it much easier if the bench can manage to not throw away the advantage the starters work hard for..

  9. SUNS BALL - May 28, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    ummm. They did just beat the LA Fakers twice in a row… What have you been watching… Suns in 7…….

  10. Matt - May 28, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    You can’t “fake” a championship… Or, in the case of the Suns, you can’t win one.

  11. DK Anderson - May 28, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Like the article hinted at, there’s a lot in this series for a true hoops fan to love. Regardless of how it turns out, this has been a very entertaining battle. I think the Suns can indeed win Game 6 – they haven’t really had a good shooting game yet, and it’s uncharacteristic of them to miss that many from the line. If it goes seven, even a Suns fan like me has to acknowledge that the Lakers will be favored, and deservedly so. But I think the Suns showed that winning one in LA is far from out of the question.

  12. JD - May 28, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Funny comment, considering you stated “overlooking the fact that they were just 4 tenths of a second from forcing overtime and maybe getting THREE in a row????”. …BUT THEY DIDN’T, did they?
    Anyway, Suns will win game 6 and will put all their hopes in an agressive zone – I don’t know how but the Suns manages to play a scrappy style of zone that continuously frustrate the Lakers – to steal game 7 in LA. Suns in 7!!!

  13. JD - May 28, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    Funny comment, considering you stated “overlooking the fact that they were just 4 tenths of a second from forcing overtime and maybe getting THREE in a row????”. …BUT THEY DIDN’T, did they?
    Anyway, Suns will win game 6 and will put all their hopes in an agressive zone – I don’t know how but the Suns manages to play a scrappy style of zone that continuously frustrate the Lakers – to steal game 7 in LA. Suns in 7!!!

  14. JB - May 28, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    Best series in all of the playoffs!
    tell your friends – good laugh at – for the crazy story of a crazy guy…

  15. JS - May 28, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    In response to your query, the answer is a resounding no. The Suns cannot win two in a row against the NBA. The ruling from the league office that rescinded one of the T’s on Kendrick Perkins in order to allow him to play tonight is clear evidence that they will do whatever must be done to get a Celtics/Lakers finals. Good job, Suns! Way to play with heart, but no matter whether you push it to a 7th game or not, the NBA will beat you in the end. Lakers and Celtics fans should be proud. The best teams money can buy and the backing of David Stern will get you multiple rings every time. I’m done with this fake league. Maybe I’ll start watching WWF. At least they pretend to allow fair competition.

  16. Ron - May 28, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    Two things:
    (1) Lakers are at least 7-1 in close-out games going back the past three seasons. No mention was made of that. And this pretty much is the same team as the last couple of years.
    (2) Kurt, as much as you would love to find some hidden ironic meaning in the lyrics of “I Love L.A.,” it is clear that there is none…of course Randy Newman is known for that but this is basically a tribute to the city. A couple of step-backs: most notably “look at that bum there, he’s on his knees.” Well, everyone who lives in LA knows there are bums here, that is nothing new.

  17. antonio pantderas - May 28, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Lakers Scmlakers, dis series is over.
    Suns in 7. Yeah, GO SUNS GO SUNS GO SUNS GO SUNS

  18. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 28, 2010 at 6:50 PM

    And you’re an idiot. Conspiracy chump. If that were true, LeChoke and company should be playing right now against the Magic. A Kobe-LeGone Finals match up would have been ratings galore as it would have been the much awaited one just like Pacquiao vs Gayweather…

  19. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 28, 2010 at 6:57 PM

    Must be some mean stuff you’re smoking and I’m not having that. LOL! But yeah you’re right — series is over. Suns will go fishing in the desert.

  20. Boyd Shumway - May 28, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    Edward,the Suns beat the defending NBA champs Golden State Warriors in a seventh game at Golden State, advancing to the finals against the Boston Celtics. You may not see it happening but it HAS been done before

  21. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 28, 2010 at 7:58 PM

    True that. But those were the Warriors not the Lakers. Possible? Of course! Probable? I won’t bet my life-savings on it. If I remember correctly that was ONE of TWO Finals appearance, right? Ooookay. Got it. *checks out the 31 WC Champion banners and 15 NBA Champion banners hanging in the Staples rafters*

  22. AZ Lady - May 28, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    I really liked the first few discussions on this thread. Then people started calling each other names instead of discussing the issue.
    Sun in 7.

  23. Frank - May 28, 2010 at 10:15 PM

    It will be hilarious if the lakers do lose. Then all the laker fans can put their jersey’s away and put on their Yankee ones for baseball season. When that is over, you can put on your Cowboys jersey and be a front runner some more.
    Biggest joke of fans in sports.

  24. Foul Dwimmerlaik - May 29, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    Biggest joke of fans in sport? Hell no. The biggest joke of fans are those whose clubs have yet to get a consistent tradition of getting a championship. Where are your rings? If so, how many? Envious sour-grapes.

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