On Sept. 7, 1996, FOX Sports Arizona hit the airwaves with our first telecast — a Pac-10 football showdown between Washington and Arizona State. Check back with us daily as we recount some of the top sports moments in Arizona during our 20 years of serving the state’s sports fans.
The Coyotes and Kings shake hands after the Kings eliminated the Coyotes in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. (Bruce Yeung photo)
“It’s very disappointing,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “I’ve been knocked out in the first round a lot, and you think that it’s going to feel better when you get to the next round, but I don’t care when you get knocked out; it feels awful and you don’t want to be part of it.”
May 20 2005
Steve Nash scores eight points in the final minute of regulation as the Suns beat the Mavericks 130-126 for a 4-2 series victory and a trip to the Western Conference finals.
Luis Gonzalez goes hitless in an 8-3 loss at San Francisco, ending his 30-game hit streak. Gonzalez was the 37th player in major-league history to hit in at least 30 consecutive games. Gonzalez had 7 home runs, 46 hits, 25 RBI and a .400 batting average during the streak.
Steve Nash and Tim Duncan share an embrace after the Spurs eliminated the Suns in Game 6.
“We’ll never know. What can I say? Part of me wants to be a sportsman and give them credit. They beat us,” Steve Nash said. “At the same time I can’t really answer that question because I don’t know what the outcome might have been.”
Fans at America West Arena share this message with commissioner David Stern after Amar’e Stoudemire is forced to sit out Game 5 of the Suns’ series vs. the Spurs on May 16, 2007.
The Spurs take a 3-2 lead on the Suns with an 88-85 victory at America West Arena as the Suns are forced to play without suspended Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw. The Suns led by 16 in the second period and 79-71 midway through the fourth quarter before running out of gas.
The Suns beat the Spurs 104-98 to even up their Western Conference semifinal series at 2-2, but the final seconds of the game prove to be among the most reviled in franchise history by Suns’ fans.
It started with a dirty foul by Robert Horry on Steve Nash, leading to Nash defending himself, and then to Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw leaving the Suns bench area as tempers flared. Ultimately, it would result in one-game suspensions for Stoudemire and Diaw for Game 5 in Phoenix — an 88-85 Spurs win that turned the tide in the series.
The Diamondbacks hit three home runs and score five times in the ninth inning to beat the Montreal Expos 8-6 — winning on a walk-off home run by Matt Williams. It was the third walk-off home run in three nights for the D-backs. The night before it was Luis Gonzalez, and the night before that, Jay Bell walked-off the Expos.
May 11 2005
Joe Johnson crashes face first to the floor after a flagrant foul by Dallas’ Jerry Stackhouse and suffers a displaced fracture of his left orbital bone in a 108-106 loss to the Mavericks in the second game of the Western Conference semifinals. The injury would sideline him for the next two weeks.
Joe Johnson was out for two weeks after a flagrant foul by Jerry Stackhouse resulted in a fractured orbital bone.
May 10 2008
Mike D’Antoni resigns as Suns head coach and vice president of basketball operations to become head coach with the New York Knicks. D’Antoni led the Suns to three Pacific Division championships and a 253-136 record in four-plus seasons, including four consecutive seasons with at least 54 wins.
Mike D’Antoni takes over as head coach of the Knicks on May 10, 2008.
The Suns conclude a four-game sweep of the Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals with a 107-101 victory in San Antonio. Amar’e Stoudemire leads the way with 29 points. Steve Nash finished the game with a bloodied, swollen and bandaged face, after catching an inadvertent elbow above the eye from Spurs center Tim Duncan.
A bandaged Steve Nash has plenty to smile about after the Suns finish off a four-game sweep of the Spurs on May 9, 2010.
Randy Johnson strikes out 20 Cincinnati Reds in nine innings but is deprived of his place in the record books because the game went longer than nine innings, with the Diamondbacks pulling out a 4-3 win in the 11th. A replay of Johnson’s 20-strikeout game will air on FOX Sports Arizona tonight at 7 p.m.
Steve Nash edges out future teammate Shaquille O’Neal and becomes the second Phoenix Sun to win the NBA’s MVP Award, joining Charles Barkley. Nash averaged 15.5 points and an NBA-best 11.5 assists while leading the Suns to a 33-win improvement over the 2003-04 season.
Jerry Colangelo presents the 2004-05 Most Valuable Player trophy to Steve Nash.
Steve Nash (right) with then-NBA Commissioner David Stern
Leandro Barbosa scores 26 points and Boris Diaw has 21, nine assists and six rebounds as the Suns wallop the Lakers 121-90 in Game 7 of their opening-round playoff series. The Suns’ third consecutive victory wipes out a 3-1 deficit and advances them to a Western Conference semifinal series against the Clippers.
Kobe Bryant and Raja Bell mix it up during Game 5 of the playoffs.
“It’s been a pretty physical series, and at that point in time
I had caught another elbow in the jaw and I lost my head and
overreacted to it,” Bell said. “It could have cost my team, and
for that I’m sorry.”