Work in Sports
Robinson helps Spurs even series with Suns
Posted: Wednesday April 26, 2000 05:05 PM
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- This time, the Admiral came to play.
David Robinson had 25 points and 15 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs overcame a nine-point third quarter for an 85-70 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, tying the first-round series.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday in Phoenix. The Suns held off the Spurs in Saturday night's 72-70 victory in Game 1.
"We did a better job of moving around and making them play defense," said Robinson, held to 3-for-12 on field goals in Game 1 on Saturday.
"I thought that was the difference. I got the ball more with opportunities that I liked."
Avery Johnson scored 21 for the Spurs, who played without leading scorer Tim Duncan for the second straight game.
Duncan, the MVP of last year's Finals, sat out with torn cartilage in his left knee.
The Spurs used a 17-3 second-quarter run to take a 51-37 halftime lead, but the Suns held them to just nine points in the third quarter.
San Antonio held onto a 60-51 lead going into the fourth, despite Phoenix's pressure. The Suns forced eight turnovers in the third quarter, mostly at the beginning.
The 23 combined third-quarter points tied an NBA playoff record for fewest points in the third quarter.
The Suns allowed only two field goals in the third quarter, but went cold in the fourth. Johnson scored 12 of his points in the fourth to keep the Alamodome crowd happy.
"We came out and played in the third quarter like we should have played in the first half," Hardaway said. "This is a tough place to shoot in. It's just the history of the Suns in this place. We're getting the looks we want. We're just not knocking them down."
Hardaway led Phoenix with 19 points, and Rodney Rogers added 18.
"In the two games, we've been sloppy offensively," Suns coach Scott Skiles said. "We're not setting, and our ball handling is questionable. We're missing shots we normally make. We're aware of this and have to address it before Saturday."
Robinson had 21 points and 13 rebounds by halftime.
The game was tied 34-34 with 6:19 remaining in the second quarter, when the Spurs went on a 17-3 run to take a 14-point halftime lead.
Robinson started the run with a 16-foot jumper and had six points in the run. Johnson also had six points as the Spurs took their biggest lead.
Cliff Robinson got Phoenix's only basket in the charge. The other point came as a result of a technical foul against Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
The Spurs followed their plan to come out aggressively and go right to David Robinson.
The Spurs hit their first three shots, including a jumper and a slam dunk by Robinson, and held on for a 24-20 first-quarter lead.
"The 17-3 run put us in the driver's seat," Popovich said. "Our defense played well, but we sputtered offensively. The defense is what brought us home."
Notes: Kevin Johnson entered the game as the Suns' leading career playoff
scorer, with 1,999 points. ... San Antonio is 0-16 in playoff series
when it loses the first game. ... The Suns won 13 of their final 19
road games and entered Game 2 with a four-game road winning streak.
... San Antonio's Jerome Kersey is playing in his 15th postseason,
tied for second with Hakeem Olajuwon and Karl Malone on the NBA's