More photos » Ross D. Franklin - AP
You got some help, Steve! (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
The Suns started out the game with all of their shots falling a bit short, and that continued for the entire half as they went into halftime with a 12-point deficit. They once again faced a major rebounding deficit, yet this time they didn't offset those missed opportunities with shotmaking.
In fact, they made it worse. 4-20 on 3ptrs all night long (after hitting 22 the night before), barely over 42% overall for the game.
So the Suns had no chance, right? Coming off an emotional win the night before while the Nuggets hadn't played since Thursday, and with memories of getting run off the court by the Nugs in preseason... well...like I said: no chance.
Not with THIS Suns team. The Suns somehow fought back in the third quarter, cutting the deficit twice to a measly 2 pts as Suns fans questioned whether Denver's psyche was missing that killer instinct. Then Denver recovered a bit, reopening the lead to 7 points on end-of-quarter offensive rebounds and Suns turnovers. In fact, it would have been a 9-point Denver lead if Lawson could hit free throws.
OK, THIS time it was over, right?
After Denver started the fourth strong, pushing the lead out to 8, the Suns second unit flexed its muscle. Featuring Hedo, Warrick and Frye on the front line, with Childress and Dragic in the backcourt, the Suns outscored the Nuggets 18-6 in the first six minutes to take a 5-pt lead (87-82).
Hedo, Warrick and Frye along that front line, with Childress and Dragic in the backcourt. I love that lineup!
Hedo was the Hedo we always wanted (9 pts, 7 rebs, 2 blocks, 3 assists, 1 steal, and another BIG THREE to nail down the win, and then a BLOCK on Billups!). Warrick was the Warrick we always wanted (21 pts on p-n-r). In fact, with Childress giving us his own magic (10 pts and 8 rebs), can anyone question the value of the summer moves any more?
Those three carried the Suns to a BIG win over Denver on the second night of a back-to-back with no rebounders in the entire lineup.
Sleep well, Suns fans!
We've got ourselves a team to reckon with. Watch out, Western Conference!