SAN ANTONIO &
The Phoenix Suns have twice lost early double-digit leads to the San Antonio Spurs.
Now they'll have to win at home if they don't want to get swept in the series.
The Spurs overcame a 14-point first-half deficit on Tuesday, taking control in the third quarter and withstanding a late Phoenix surge for a 102-96 win in Game 2 of the best-of-seven playoff series.
The defending champions have a 2-0 lead heading to Arizona for Friday's Game 3.
"It doesn't mean anything," Spurs point guard Tony Parker said. "We just have to stay focused. We did our job. We just can't be satisfied."
Also, the New Orleans Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks 127-103 to take a 2-0 lead in their series, and the Orlando Magic edged the Toronto Raptors 104-103 and are ahead 2-0 in their series.
Parker led the Spurs with 32 points and the NBA's sixth man award winner Manu Ginobili added 29. Tim Duncan had 18 points and 17 rebounds.
After a Game — that required Duncan's first — of the season and two overtimes for the win, the Spurs won in regulation on Tuesday by outscoring the Suns 27-11 in a breakout third quarter.
"I'm shaking my head, because I don't know what happened there," Suns point guard Steve Nash said.
Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 33 points but struggled after halftime, when he shot 2-for-11 from the field.
The Suns know the pressure is on to win twice at home and send the series back to San Antonio tied. The Suns won the season series against San Antonio 3-1 and beat them both times after Shaquille O'Neal was acquired.
"It's definitely disappointing," Stoudemire said. "Definitely wanted to get a win. We wanted to get home-court advantage all over again."
The Suns had home-court advantage in last year's playoffs, but the Spurs closed out the second-round series in six games.
The Spurs led by 17 points in the fourth quarter after taking control in the third. But Nash led a 10-0 run to bring Phoenix within 96-91 with 2:44 left.
Duncan had a dunk with 1:47 to play and Parker followed with a bucket to put San Antonio back up 101-93.
Then Stoudemire hit just his sixth 3-pointer of the season with 14 seconds left &
like Duncan's game-saving — to force a second overtime in Game — &
to make it 101-96. After that the Suns resorted to fouling.
"I felt fortunate we were able to come back from the punch they gave us to start the game because that could have been an ugly night for our team and our fans," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "But I have to give credit to our guys for showing some great mental toughness and playing the game for 48 minutes."
Nash had 23 points and 10 assists for the Suns. O'Neal had 19 points and 14 rebounds.
The Suns had five turnovers in the third quarter and went just 3-for-18 in the period, leaving them with an 81-72 deficit with a quarter to play.
Ginobili hit his third — of the game early in the fourth and Parker followed, weaving his way through to the basket for a layup that put San Antonio up 86-73 with 10:40 to play.
"A couple of times they (Parker and Ginobili) got to the basket," O'Neal said. "We just have to make it tough for them to do that."
The Suns' Grant Hill, who has been bothered by a groin injury and wasn't 100 percent for Game 1, played less than 20 minutes in Game 2 and didn't score.
The Suns shot 61 percent in the first half but couldn't sustain it. The Spurs cut the lead each time before Phoenix could build it back up.
O'Neal didn't get into foul trouble on Tuesday the way he did in Game 1, and it showed. He played more than 18 minutes in the first half and had four blocks and 11 points.
And Stoudemire was 11-for-14 from the field, penetrating the paint and hitting jumpers for 25 first-half points.
Hornets 127, Mavericks 103
Chris Paul had 32 points and a franchise playoff-record 17 assists, leading host New Orleans to a 2-0 lead over Dallas in their first-round series.
David West scored 27 points and Peja Stojakovic 22 for New Orleans, which took a double-digit lead in the second quarter, led by as much as 25 in the third and never looked back.
Magic 104, Raptors 103
Dwight Howard had 29 points and 20 rebounds, his second straight 20-20 game, and host Orlando took a 2-0 lead over Toronto in their first-round playoff series.
Chris Bosh had 29 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto, but missed a 19-footer with 1.9 seconds left that could have won the game. Jason Kapono scored 20 points, Jose Calderon had 18 and Carlos Delfino added 16 for the Raptors, who host Game — on Thursday.
Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis each scored 18 for Orlando. Hedo Turkoglu made the go-ahead layup and finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Parker scores 32 in Game 2 as Spurs take 2-0 lead on Suns
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