| Sports |

Phoenix Suns Go 0-4 on Road Trip, Losing in Final Minutes to Hated Spurs on Sunday

There's only bad news about the fading Phoenix Suns, whose chances of making the Western Conference playoffs get slimmer by the game.

The sad thing is, the Suns could've won every one of the past four road games in Orlando, Miami, Houston, and San Antonio. They were in each game until the home team overpowered them in the fourth quarter.

Which's what good teams do. They find a way to win.

The Suns best showing came against the Spurs. They kept it close, until San Antonio point guard Tony Parker took over, netting 12 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter.

In addition to high-scorer honors for the game, Parker had nine assists. With just over a minute left, he pretty much sealed the deal with a George Gervin-style floater in the paint. The Spurs, also helped by Tim Duncan's 17 points and 15 rebounds, went on to win 103-98.

The fact that Manu Ginobli sat out the game with an ankle injury almost made up for the Suns being absent Amar'e Stoudemire, gone for the season after detached retina surgery.

Though Nash (as usual) couldn't stay with Parker on defense, he was the high scorer for Phoenix, with 23 points and 11 assists. All Suns starters were in double figures, and Leandro Barbosa had 20 points off the bench.

A point guard also killed the Suns in the Rockets game Friday night. Aaron Brooks had 30 points, including another Iceman-style floater with 41 seconds left, that put the game on ice for the Rockets. Yao Ming held his own against Shaquille O'Neal in the middle, scoring 15 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

Nash had a great night on offense against the Rockets. He was the high scorer for the game in the 116-112 Suns loss, with 32 points and 13 assists.

We always wince when Nash's the most potent thing on offense for Phoenix, because this usually means the rest of the team isn't stepping up.

The Suns' next game's at US Airways Center with the Dallas Mavericks, who've got a four-game lead over Phoenix for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs. Then, LeBron James and the Eastern Conference-leading Cleveland Cavaliers come to town on Thursday night.

Can you say six-game losing streak?

Hope's fading fast that the Suns can make it to the post-season. They've played well under interim head coach Alvin Gentry against bad teams, but they can't seem to buy a win against a team with a winning record.

The lone exception being their 118-111 home win over the league-leading Los Angeles Lakers on March 1 -- which, more and more, seems like a fluke.

It would be the first time in the Steve Nash era that the Suns haven't made the playoffs. An irony is that if the Suns played in the weaker Eastern Conference, they'd be in fifth place.

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