Suns head to Utah in control of playoff destiny
Both require a win in Utah Tuesday.
"We are a now in a must win situation...if we want to keep our season going," said head coach Alvin Gentry. "We know the magnitude of the game. We know that we're in a position where we have to win this game."
"This is it," added Steve Nash following practice Monday. "Now we have a must win. We know we got to win this game. It's exciting. It's great. We got an opportunity with two games left in the season to control our own destiny."
Should the Suns leave Utah with a victory, then they'll come home knowing a win over rival San Antonio (or Jazz home loss to Portland Thursday) will clinch their sixth postseason appearance in the eight years since Nash returned to the Valley.
"This is a pretty fun opportunity for this team," said the 38-year-old point guard. "We've come a long way from 12- 19. We've fought through a lot of adversity and tough nights. It feels like the last month every game has been really important. To still be alive with two games left and control our own destiny is exciting."
The Suns have won seven straight games over Utah, including both meetings this season.
"It gives us confidence," said Nash. "At the same time, it's hard to beat a team three times, especially twice on their home floor when it really means the most. We got our work cut out for us but that's what you love. You love a great opportunity to do something special."
The Suns did something special in the last meeting, handing the Jazz their only home loss this month, 107-105 after replays determined a potential game-tying tip in occurred after the final buzzer.
"We know that we'll have to play well to win there," explained Gentry, whose club has won four straight at EnergySolutions Arena. "They've been very successful at home (23-8). The game obviously means a lot to them also."
Utah, which has not beaten the Suns in four tries since Tyrone Corbin replaced Jerry Sloan as head coach, secures its own playoff spot with a victory Tuesday.
- Jared Dudley, Suns' Forward - Tuesday June 11JD gives us his player's perspective on the NBA Finals.
- Brian Windhorst, NBA ESPN.com Writer - Friday June 7Brian Windhorst talks about Game 1 of the NBA Finals and what to expect from the rest of the series.
- Suns GM Ryan McDonough - Friday June 7The Suns GM talks about prospects Ben McLemore of Kansas and Victor Oladipo of Indiana.
- Eddie Johnson, Suns' TV Analyst - Thursday June 6EJ previews game 1 of the NBA Finals. Plus, what are his thoughts on George Karl's firing?
- Victor Oladipo, 2013 NBA draft prospect - Wednesday June 5Oladipo discussed his workout with the Suns and why teams should want him.