Throwback Thursday: Goran Dragic's big 4th quarter

On social media sites, Thursdays have turned into Throwback Thursdays. People post old pictures on their Instagram, Twitter or Facebook accounts every Thursday to showcase a special moment from earlier in time. ValleyoftheSuns has decided to join the craze to bring Suns fans some of the most memorable moments (good or bad) in the team’s history.

Date: May 7, 2010

Place: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

Set-up: The Phoenix Suns traveled to San Antonio up 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals against the hated Spurs. The Suns were the third seed that season by winning the Pacific Division and defeating the Portland Trail Blazers in a six-game series the round before. The Suns trailed for most of the game, but got to within one point after the third quarter. Up to the 1:05 mark of that quarter, Goran Dragic was 2-for-13 in the entire series and had struggled mightily in the first half. Dragic hit his first shot of the game, a three pointer, with 1:05 left in the third quarter and that opened up the floodgates to one of the most improbable playoff performances in the team’s history.

4th Quarter:  To say Dragic was hot is an understatement. He was STEAMING HOT in the fourth quarter. The second year player scored 23 points, almost outscoring the Spurs (24 fourth-quarter points) by himself as the Suns ran away with a 110-96 victory. Dragic’s 23 points came on 9-11 shooting and a perfect 4-4 from three point land. Twenty of his 23 points came in the first 7:53 of the quarter. How good was he? The Suns’ two All-Stars hardly got on the court in the fourth quarter, a quarter they entered trailing! Steve Nash just played the final four minutes and Amare Stoudemire kept the warm-ups on.

Aftermath: The Suns brought out the brooms and left the dustpans behind as they took care of business in Game 4 by sweeping the Spurs and finally, at long last, defeating the evil Black and Silver for the first time in the Nash era. Dragic came back down to earth scoring just six points in 11 minutes in the next game. Of course the ending is not happy. In the Western Conference Finals the Suns took the heavily favored Los Angeles Lakers to six games before eventually falling short.

Dragic’s Thoughts: 

At practice the other day I spoke with Dragic about the game that he will forever be remembered by.

“Wow, that was a long time ago,” Dragic said at first, which made me realize it really was a long time ago. That was the night before my Senior Prom. Time really does go by fast.

Here’s how the Dragon remembers it.

JS: Take us back to the quarter and relive the moment for us?

GD: I was just in the zone. I started the game bad and didn’t play well in the first two quarters. Coach Alvin (Gentry) was on me and told me to just play my game. I hit my first shot at the end of third (quarter) and was in the zone. The rim was as big as a pool (laughing). Every shot I was going to hit.

JS: Was it the best game of your career?

GD: Probably, it was a playoff game in the fourth quarter, so it was crunch time.

JS: Obviously the moment was important being a playoff game, but did the fact it was against the Spurs and you helped to close them out giving Nash and Stoudemire that first series win against them make the moment even bigger?

GD: Definitely, we knew in the past there were problems against the Spurs, they always beat us and that year we surprised them 4-0, so that was special. The whole year was special with it being my second year in league. We had a good team and chemistry and it was nice reliving the old days.

JS: Looking back now, what did that game mean to your career?

GD: I put my name on map in NBA. Nobody talk about me and after that they talk a lot, so I would say the recognition.


Tags: 2010 NBA Playoffs Alvin Gentry Goran Dragic NBA Phoenix Suns San Antonio Spurs Steve Nash Throwback Thursday

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