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Barkley's elbow drained

Charles Barkley's right elbow was drained before Sunday night's third game.

"We don't know how he's going to do," Suns team doctor Richard Emerson said. "It's sore."

Emerson said a local anesthetic was used before 15 cubic centimeters were drained from a swollen bursar sac.

Barkley landed on the elbow when he crashed to the floor with 40 seconds left in the third quarter of Chicago's 111-108 victory in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Friday night.

Television generation

NBA commissioner David Stern on the late-starting games: "Game 1 in Phoenix started at 6 p.m. local time and 9 p.m. in the East, and we think that starting games with a 5 p.m. West Coast time would be difficult for us. We're sensitive about the subject because we'd like our games to be available to the largest number of people. That's why we had some conference finals on in the weekend afternoons, and why we'll continue to broadcast Finals games on Sundays with a 7 p.m. eastern start."

Cradle of coaches

The Phoenix team that lost the epic three-overtime game to Boston in Game 5 of the 1976 Finals included three current coaches.

Paul Westphal (Suns coach) and Garfield Heard (Mavs interim this season) were starters, while Pat Riley (Knicks coach) was a reserve.

In that series _ the Suns' only other Finals appearance _ Phoenix lost the first two games in Boston, won two at home, lost Game 5 in Boston, then lost Game 6 in Phoenix.

Firing it up

Chicago got off a staggering 130 shots _ to Phoenix's 99 _ but the Bulls fell 10 shots short of the NBA Finals record for field-goal attempts.

San Francisco got off 140 shots in losing 141-135 to Philadelphia in overtime in Game 1 of the 1967 Finals. And Boston attempted 133 field goals in beating St. Louis 140-122 in Game 1 of the 1960 Finals.

Shut down

The Suns and Bulls tied a record for fewest points in an overtime period in a Finals game, with four in the first extra session.

The teams tied Boston and Milwaukee (Game 5, 1974) and Chicago and the Lakers (Game 3, 1991)

Road warriors

The Bulls, in their three trips to the NBA Finals, are 7-1 on the road at Los Angeles, Portland and Phoenix.

Before the Bulls, the Detroit Pistons won five consecutive road games, two at Los Angeles and three at Portland.

_ STAFF, WIRE REPORTS

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