NBA Playoff Roundup
The playoff roundup …
PHOENIX ó A Frenchman put Phoenix on the brink of elimination, another brought the Suns back to life.
Boris Diaw fell two assists shy of a triple-double Sunday and the Suns avoided a first-round sweep at the hands of San Antonio with a 105-86 rout of the Spurs.
Diaw, starting in place of injured Grant Hill, had 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in one of the best playoff performances of his career.
“I trust him. I always have,” Suns coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I think he’s a heck of a basketball player. He’s been maligned here a little bit, but he can play. He stepped up big.”
Diaw also played tough defense on his good friend and fellow Frenchman Tony Parker, who scored 18 points after a career-high 41 in San Antonio’s 115-99 victory Friday night in Game 3.
“I think they kind of relaxed being up 3-0,” Diaw said, “but we came out and played, too. We didn’t come out like the series was over. We came out fired up.”
No one was more aggressive than Raja Bell, who scored 21 of his 27 points in a dominant first half to help Phoenix bring a one-sided end to the defending NBA champions’ nine-game playoff winning streak. The Suns were 11-0 in the regular season when Bell scored at least 20.
“I was really embarrassed by my play and the team’s play after the last game,” Bell said. “It was hard to sleep. I was restless. I couldn’t put it to bed.”
Phoenix still trails the first-round series 3-1, with Game 5 on Tuesday night in San Antonio. No NBA team has come back from 0-3 to win a series, a fact that wasn’t lost on the Spurs’ Tim Duncan.
“We didn’t expect to sweep these guys,” Duncan said. “We’re excited in the situation we’re in, up 3-1. We’ve got to win one more game, and we get to go home and try to win it there. Those are a lot of things that are in our favor.”
The Suns won in a blowout even though Amare Stoudemire scored just seven points and Steve Nash had four assists.
Pistons 93, 76ers 84
PHILADELPHIA ó The Pistons squashed all that chatter about heading home with a series deficit.
Tayshaun Prince scored 23 points and made all but one shot from the field, and the Pistons played with a purpose and dominated the second half to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 93-84 on Sunday night, tying their best-of-seven Eastern Conference playoff series at 2-2.
Game 5 is Tuesday night at Detroit.