Friday, May 07, 2010

Friday Night Lights Out

It rained all day today, and it rained all night, literally and figuratively. When I picked up the 18th Letter from school, a steady rain was falling. It let up as we drove home and then went to see How to Train Your Dragon in 3D*, but we were greeted to a downpour while exiting the theater. No weaklings us Canadians, we didn't need an umbrella to make it to the car. Another choice quote from the master: "Daddy, it's just water."

Indeed. Soon, though, "just water" became a thunderstorm, and as we drove home the 18th Letter confessed that she has a fear of lightning. I tried to explain how irrational her burgeoning phobia is, but like me and my similarly irrational fear of flying, sometimes you can't tell no one nothing.

She settled down once we got home**. Being home does that to one's nerves. An hour and some change later she was asleep on the sofa/couch. After taking the limp bag of potatoes up to her room, I turned on NBA TV to catch the last quarter of Game 3 of the Cavs-Celtics series, a blowout if ever there was one. I didn't care; what I anticipated was Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs series. Going back to CaliSan Antonio, I knew the Suns' 2-0 series lead was far from comfortable because the Spurs cheat by blaring arena music whenever their team has possessionthe Spurs never give up. Not ever.

My spleen was correct: the Spurs opened early with a wide lead, in the first half topping the Suns by as much as eighteen points. Still, I knew that the Spurs' hyperactive defense meant they'd grow tired fast, opening a window for the Suns to get back into the game.

The Suns did, narrowing the Spurs' lead by six at the half. The Spurs asserted themselves in the third quarter, but by the end of the period the Suns were a point behind. Suns' Coach Alvin Gentry knows how to substitute his players without panicking, it appears.

This looked like a game for the ages in the fourth, a back-and-forth slug-fest. And that's exactly what it was until Goran Dragic, Phoenix's No. 2 point guard, gave the performance of a lifetime.

Scoring 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the second half, most of his points coming in the fourth quarter, Dragic dominated the Spurs singlehandedly. He drove to the basket with a killer's instinct; he made shot after incredible shot, including an off-balance 4-point play. He was so fantastic that Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry kept him in the game alongside starting point guard Steve Nash with minutes remaining, a tribute to the second-year point guard's amazing performance.

Fittingly, Dragic took the last shot of the game, a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Nothing. But. Net.

What a performance. In a perfect world, the Dragic Game would be replayed on ESPN Classic for years and years. Hopefully, it will be.

The 18th Letter need not worry about the lightning. Goran Dragic channeled it and struck Texas.

* I've poo-pooed the 3D trend, but it works incredibly for CG-animated films. My only concern is that 3D isn't kid-friendly. The 18th Letter loved the movie, but she spent a third of it rubbing her eyes because the visuals were a little too intense and the 3D glasses were cumbersome to wear.

** In a 2010 Hyundai Accent. My folks also own a Chevy Equinox, and while that SUV looks nice, the Accent has more pep in its step. I feel like I'm driving a real-life Mario Kart vehicle when I get in that badboy's driver's seat, minus the koopa shells and rainbow roads.

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