Down and Dirty

The Suns got down and “Dirty” Tuesday, using some elbow grease on the defensive end and some rediscovered intensity to scrap their way back into a playoff series.

With Kurt Thomas injecting some grit into the interior defense and Shawn Marion throwing the clamps on San Antonio speedster Tony Parker, the Suns overcame some early shooting woes to run over the Spurs 101-81, squaring the Western Conference semifinals at 1-1.

Thomas not only scored 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, he made life tougher on San Antonio star Tim Duncan (29 points, 11 rebounds). His 28 minutes allowed teammate Amaré Stoudemire to concentrate on the offensive end, where he nearly matched Duncan with 27 points and nine rebounds of his own.

“I definitely tried to make him work and I think it carried over to the fourth quarter,” said the 34-year-old Thomas, who goes by the moniker “Dirty.” “That’s the key, to make him work for each and every point out there.”

That’s right folks, Kurt Thomas’ nickname is “Dirty.”

Raja Bell, also an all-defensive team selection, said he doesn’t like to use the words “dirty player.”

“I haven’t seen the play,” he said. “Dirty is not a word I like to use about anybody. They play hard, they’re physical. It’s a physical time of year, but I didn’t get kicked. Amare has the right to feel the way he wants to feel.”

Is it just me, or is this whole incident just screaming to have a highlight reel created about it mixed over a certain Christina Aguilera song?