When you fail to show up for a game, it's really difficult to win it.
The Phoenix Suns proved that tonight, allowing the worst team in the Western Conference to come in and dominate the second half with their big men. I'm only kicking myself that I didn't actually predict this loss earlier in the preview. I stopped short, mentioning that Carl Landry (20 and 10) and Jason Thompson (8 and 7) were Suns killers. I wanted to say Samuel Dalembert (18, 15 and 3 blocks) too, but I had too much faith in Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez to keep him in check. And I wanted to say Donte Green because I remember a big game from him a year ago, but his career numbers against the Suns weren't that hot.
The Suns came out flat. Then they went on a big run in the first quarter, turning a 10-point deficit into a 10-point lead in a matter of a few minutes. Apparently, the Suns thought the game was over at that point.
Carl Landry had other ideas.
Carl Landry was the difference in this game. In the first half, he missed all 7 of his shots but pulled down 7 rebounds to offset that. In the second half, Landry blew up for 20 points and 3 more rebounds. His energy and extra effort single-handedly re-inspired the Kings in the second half.
This coincided with the Suns shooting nothing but jump shots. The Suns took a 10-point first half lead - and kept it till the last second - because they'd worked Landry, Dalembert AND Thompson into 3 fouls apiece. Despite the Suns losing the rebounding battle, I was confident at halftime.
Yet, Landry wasn't forced to commit any more fouls, and Dalembert only incurred 2 more. Dalembert knows how to stay aggressive despite foul trouble, which is not the same as Frye with 5 fouls. Dalembert finished with 18 points (including a critical drive on the dribble FROM THE 3-POINT LINE RIGHT TO THE BASKET), 15 big rebounds and 3 blocks. Frye? Oh yeah, he wasn't in the game tonight. Frye collected 5 fouls of his own and turned into a mouse.
The lowly Kings, sporting the league's 26th ranked offense, scored any time they wanted including 8 of their last 9 possessions (the only "stop" being the breakaway where Gortat tipped away an ill-advised alley-oop).
News flash to the Phoenix Suns: That's not going to get it done.
Don't blame this game on Steve Nash. Thanks to his 22 and 18, he's got EIGHT games this season with at least 20 points and 15 assists. The entire rest of the NBA has THREE. And he's not in the All-Star game. Riiiight.
To a lesser extent, lay the second-least amount of blame on Marcin Gortat. He had 20 points and 12 rebounds - the only Sun who put up a fight on the boards. Yet, he contributed to the Suns giving up 18 offensive rebounds. Overall, the Kings outrebounded the Suns 51-36 tonight. Ugly.
Way to make it harder on yourselves, guys. Woo-hoo.
[Note by Seth Pollack, 02/13/11 9:51 PM MST ]
Phoenix Suns Fall To Sacramento Kings, 113-108 - SB Nation Arizona
Suns centers Marcin Gortat and Channing Frye noted that the Kings were attacking the glass with four and five players while the Suns were left with only one or two battling in the paint.
- Some of that good defense on display as Tyreke Evans blows by Vince for a lay up and the hits a pull up J in his face. Pietrus please.
- Hill on ‘Reke now. That didn't take long.
- Robin aggressively takes a hook shot and misses. 10-4, Kings. Aggression is always better when it results in 2 points.
- 17-7, Kings. Time out, Suns. The force is strong with this one (Tyreke, that is)
- Robin misses again in the paint. Carter cleans up the mess. Somehow, that seems like it should be the other way around.
- Gortat and Dudley in for Vince and Robin. 19-10, Kings. Let's see what happens next here.
- Great weakside block from Frye after JT beats Gortat with some nice moves in the paint.
- Suns on 8-0 run since subs came in. Defense much improved.
- 3rd foul on Dalembert already
- Somehow, Beno Udrih can't stop Nash. Probably b/c he's a horrible defender but also b/c it's Nash.
- 12-0 run now.
- Garret Siler watching Gorilla light saber duel on video screen during time out. Can't blame him, it was awesome
- Grant Hill chatting w/ Evans during FTs. Probably asking him about his diet.
- Really like what I see from Jason Thompson. Wish there were a way to get that guy into a Suns uniform. He does wear #34 though, so that's a problem.
- 27-19 now. 17-0 run....ended by Casspi.
- This Suns run btw also coincides w/ Dalembert going out w/ his 3rd foul. That's kind of pertinent information IMHO
- Can we all just agree that having the ball in the Pietrus' hands at the end of the clock isn't going to end well?
- Quick 4-0 run for Kings off 5-on-4 w/ Gortat fallen at one end and then Frye inbounds right to Kings player.
- Dowdell in. 32-27
- Evans plows in, takes the hit, finishes. He's looking sharp tonight. 11 points.
- 32-30, Suns
- Kings 7-1 in OReb
- The scouting report on Dowdell has to be "beg him to shoot as often as possible"
- Dowdell hits Warrick in the head w/ the pass, picks up the ball, gets confused, travels
- Dowdell takes charge on the other end because he's a baller like that
- Every time Evans gives up the ball he looks unhappy that he did
- Gortat posts up JT and scores. That's pretty cool
- JT posts up Gortat and doesn't score. That's pretty cool.
- That MP block on Evans was cool too.
- Nash and Hill back in. 42-37 so Z's bench held even.
- Massive Gortat Missed Dunk!!!
- Very cool
- Grant's turned down at least two wide open threes so far. He's not having his best game overall.
- Vince and Robin back in. 48-45, Suns. 2:28
- Suns got crossed up on that rotation as Robin ended up on Landry. Lopez backed off but Landry still attacked and drew the foul
- Robin Lopez with the ball on the break. Dunk! Bench was thrilled...and probably relieved he didn't blow it.
- 57-50 but they are reviewing Kings three at end of shot clock
- Kings only shooting 41% but 11-2 in OReb. Suns shooting 51%. This could go either way from here. Either Suns clean up their mess and run away with it or Kings take heart at only being down 7 and make a game of it. I have no idea which will happen. If I did, I would be in Vegas right now.
- Grant still looking a bit off tonight, missed a wide open mid-range J that's normally money
- Dalembert with the slow speed drive and finish
- 4th foul on JT after Beno and Casspi run the ugliest lob play ever
- Grant hit that one curling off the screen. He rose up and had about 3 seconds in the air to focus and make sure he made it. Hang time.
- After Lopez play they did a quick audio sounder of Chewbacca.
- 63-57. This game feels like it's on autopilot
- Landry steals an OReb from two Suns players
- Sweet spin move by Robin. Missed the shot
- Gortat back in. 63-59
- There's an impressively small contingent of Kings fans here.
- There are none
- Gortat gets schooled by Dalembert who goes right over his back from an OReb and put back. No box out at all.
- Carl Landry has no regard for common decency. When your defender backs off you, he wants you to take a jump shot, not drive into his chest and get an and 1. Stop it
- Again, Landry? Stop it, please....
- 12 points Landry. Enough already, I really don't want to have to write about the Suns losing to the Kings (again)
- 71-71 btw
- 73-73 btw
- 41-25 rebounding. That's without Cousins.
- Dudley dunk! That's two on the season!!!
- Don't laugh, he has two more than you do, sucker!
- Big stretch for the bench. Rhyme time!
- Dalembert has impressed me with his offense in this game. I don't remember him having that much game.
- Wow, great chase down block from MP on Evans fast break
- Turnover, Zabian. 82-81 Kings
- Another nice steal from Z and then another nice pass ahead from Dudley for a fast break for Warrick (fouled on the dunk attempt, missed both FTAs)
- Z had Hak open for a lob but missed it. Then threw the entry pass which Landry stole. 84-83
- Z is 2-7 shooting w/ 3 turnovers.
- 88-83, Kings, 7:43. Nash back in?
- Nash's charm forces Kings to bobble rebound out of bounds. He's awesome.
- Suns look tight and lost. Kings look like they feel they might actually win. They could be right.
- 5th foul on Frye
- Donte Greene w/ the three. Dudley can't possibly close out fast enough on that guy - too tall
- 3-0 run by Kings since Nash back in. Bring back Z?
- 5-0 run now. Not kidding so much
- Huge three from Hill. 86-93, 5:30
- Kings throw the ball away. Nash was on the court when it happened therefore he caused it.
- Beno fouls Nash behind the arc. Go Nash!
- Suns crowd totally blows MVP chants for Steven and collectively slaps self in back of head.
- Landry w/ the put back of course
- 95-91, 4:39. Kings
- Great Flop, Gortat! Gorflop!!
- Where are the Suns going to get some offense from? Carter is benched. Got to be Nash/Gortat pick and roll
- Landry posts up Frye and gets a big hoop. Would be nice to have him on our team.
- 97-91, Kings. 3:30
- Nash goes into Nash mode and hits a Nash shot. 97-93
- Udrih takes a dumb, contested three early in the clock...and makes it. 100-95
- Donte Greene posts up Dudley and scores. Suns not getting stops.
- Greene drives and draws the and 1. 105-97, 1:42
- Another big three from Grant. Still down 100-105, 1 min
- Dalembert drives on Gortat from the three point line and scores
- 102-107, 37 sec
- It's been all isolations by the Kings late and all by guys not named Evans (or Cousins)
- Nash fouled taking a three. Missed the first one. 104-109, 27 sec.
- That was funny....you know what I'm talking about (Tyreke's DUMB lob attempt)