The 5: Most recent Phoenix Suns 2-2 series outcomes
The top-seeded Phoenix Suns are in a best-of-three situation in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
They and No. 8 seed New Orleans Pelicans split the first four contests and face off in a pivotal Game 5 Tuesday night in Phoenix.
With the Suns battling to keep their Western Conference title defense rolling after a 64-win regular season, let’s look back at their most recent cracks when series even up at two apiece.
Suns-Bucks; 2021 NBA Finals
The last time Phoenix faced an even series came during the Finals last year. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, Milwaukee stormed back to draw the set even at home.
Game 5 from the Valley was an all-time classic, albeit at the expense of the Suns.
The Bucks led 120-119 with 16 ticks left when guard Jrue Holiday stripped the ball from Devin Booker. Holiday set up two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo for a transition alley-oop slam paired with a foul by Chris Paul. His free throw was the dagger.
The Bucks took Game 6 to close the series on their home court, something the Suns will aim to block New Orleans from getting the chance to on Tuesday.
Suns-Lakers; 2021 Western Conference Quarterfinals
The Suns regained homecourt advantage in Game 4 of the opening round of their Finals run last year, and they pounded L.A. for the rest of the series.
Phoenix outscored the Lakers by 43 points over the final two games with an especially dominant performance at home in Game 5.
The Suns allowed 36 points in the opening half and went into the break up by 30. They were able to empty the bench by the end of the game, and Booker led the team with 30 points.
Suns-Lakers; 2010 Western Conference Finals
Another Game 5 classic, another heartbreak for the Suns.
Phoenix overcame a two-game deficit to draw the series with a pair of home victories.
The Lakers went ahead in Game 5 by 18 points in the third quarter before the Suns cut the deficit to six entering the final 12 minutes.
Wing Jason Richardson tied the game on a third-chance three-pointer with 3.5 seconds remaining in the game, fatefully too much time for Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant missed a contested three off the inbounds pass, but Ron Artest came in and put the rebound back up for the game-winner.
The Suns fought hard to muster another comeback in Game 6 and trailed by three with 2:19 remaining. Bryant’s 37 points, however, proved too much to overcome and Los Angeles went on to win the championship.
Suns-Trail Blazers; 2010 Western Conference Quarterfinals
The No. 3 seeded Suns suffered an upset in Game 1 at the hands of the Trail Blazers before winning two straight. Portland evened the series at home in Game 4.
The Suns handled Portland in a much less dramatic Game 5 during the opening round.
After a tight first quarter in the fifth matchup, Phoenix won the second quarter 30-19 backed by forward Channing Frye’s nine points.
Phoenix piled on in the third and cruised to a 107-88 victory. Frye led the squad with 20 points, while point guard Steve Nash finished with 14 to go along with 10 assists.
Richardson scored 28 points in Game 6 to help Phoenix close out the series 99-90.
Suns-Spurs; 2007 Western Conference Semifinals
Oh dear, this series.
The Suns beat the Spurs after a triumphant fourth quarter in Game 4 in San Antonio to draw the series.
The catch was the infamous Robert Horry hip-check of Nash into the scorer’s table, a move that led to Suns forwards Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw leaving the bench. The two were suspended for Game 5 by the NBA.
The Suns did not roll over without them, leading the Spurs for most of the ensuing contest.
San Antonio took the lead with 36.4 seconds remaining after a Bruce Bowen three-pointer, though, and Phoenix missed three potential game-tying shots in the final 40 ticks.
Stoudemire scored 38 points in Game 6, but San Antonio finished off Phoenix 114-106.
A commonality with these five examples is that the winner of Game 5 won the series each time.
The Suns and Pelicans tip off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, and you can catch the action on 98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station.