History on side of Phoenix after double-OT victory
PHOENIX – A game of seesaw has never been so treacherous or thrilling.
Phoenix took its turn in this back-and-forth NBA Western Conference semifinal series with the Los Angeles Clippers, blowing a 19-point lead in regulation and needing a last-second Raja Bell three-pointer in overtime just to pull out a 125-118 Game 5 win in double overtime Tuesday night.
Bell had 22 points, including his trey from the corner over Daniel Ewing with 1.1 seconds left in the first OT to tie it at 111. Bell told his teammates during a timeout that he was going to make the shot.
“That’s kind of out of character for me,” Bell said, “but I called it.”
The Suns took a 3-2 lead as Shawn Marion rebounded from a cold fourth quarter and first overtime and an ankle sprain to score six points in the second OT. He had 36 points and 20 rebounds, outdueling Elton Brand (33 points, 15 boards).
“It hurt, but oh well,” Marion said. “I’ve just got to treat it and be ready for Thursday. I’ll be all right. We’ve just got to suck it up.”
The Suns won despite Tim Thomas fouling out in the first OT and Steve Nash going 0 for 5 on three-pointers. As the final buzzer sounded, Nash threw the ball to Bell, who got hugged by Suns managing partner Robert Sarver in a rollicking US Airways Arena.
They just pulled off something big. And the Suns have to like this factoid: 84 percent of the teams that break a 2-2 series tie with a Game 5 win have gone on to win the series.
SUNS GO UP 3-2
Game 6: Phoenix at Clip-pers, 7 p.m. Thursday (ESPN). Game 7 (if necessary): Monday in Phoenix (TBA)