Tough loss, very tough to swallow. The Suns had multiple opportunities to win this one, but couldn't get it done. It was a good game nonetheless. It may have even been the best game all season. Too bad the Suns were on the bitter end of it. The better team won.
This loss pretty much sums up the story of the season for these Phoenix Suns; getting off to a decent start, falling away, making a comeback, taking a brief lead, giving it up again, fighting to get it back and never giving up, but falling short in the end.
Their record now stands at 35-34 behind the 37-34 Rockets and 39-32 Grizzlies who hold the 8th seed. When you look at teams like the Grizzlies you'll notice that they've managed to play through injuries (losing Rudy Gay) and upset some very good teams such as the Thunder, Mavs and even the Spurs. The Suns have been unable to do that losing close ones to the Thunder, Mavs, Lakers and even the Rockets and Hornets in recent weeks; can't say they haven't tried though.
Playoff chances are looking pretty dim and the Suns just can't seem to get that miracle when they need it. It doesn't mean all is over as they still have a chance and I'd be surprised if they just laid down and called it a season. They'll fight to the end because that is who they are, the Phoenix Suns.
Suns got off to a decent start and took a 31-27 lead by the end of the first. From 2nd quarter things kind of went down hill as they allowed the Lakers to score 39 and take a 6-pt lead into halftime. Both teams were on fire for much of the first half and not much defense was played at all. Same story for much of the 3rd quarter only the Suns started missing their shots and the Lakers took a 21 point lead with about 4 minutes to go. At that point I thought, "Well, not surprised they're getting blown-out. I guess I can start writing the recap and than call it a night and get some extra sleep." Boy was I wrong!
Steve Nash led a comeback with 4 minutes to go in the 3rd, hitting three straight three-pointers. The Suns managed to tie the game at 101-101 and than Kobe checked in and led the Lakers to a 9-0 run. Suns didn't give up. Down 106-112 they tied the game to take it into overtime thanks to two threes from Frye and Grant Hill.
In OT the Lakers took a 121-118 lead with about 2.5 seconds to go and Lamar fouled Channing Frye on a 3-pointer. Frye once again came through in the clutch knocking down all three attempts to send it into a 2nd overtime.
In 2nd overtime, Frye hit another 3-pointer to give the Suns a 130-128 lead. Gasol was fouled and made two free- throws to tie it.
A 3rd overtime! This is where things got rough. Both teams were tired, but for the Suns players like Nash (37), Carter (34) and Hill (38); they can only go for so long before they run out of gas. Nash turned the ball over 2 times, Grant fouled out and Carter missed a wide open three. The worst mistake was when they were down 135-137 and refused to foul, letting Odom run off the clock and throwing it in to Kobe who scored over Channing. The Suns lost 137-139.
Steve Nash- 20 assist, 19 points on 7-15 shooting.
Channing Frye- 32 points on 11-23 shooting and 14 rebounds.
Marcin Gortat- 24 points on 9-15 shooting and 16 rebounds.
Grant Hill- 11 and 10.
Aaron Brooks- 15 points on 6-9 shooting and 3 assist in only 13 minutes. Brooks played well in limited time and lived up to his "Laker Killer" title. We have to question if Gentry should have gone to him for a minute or two in the 2nd OT just to give Nash a breather?
Well, good night folks. Lets hope the bench comes up big against the Raptors tomorrow because we'll need em.
I hope we are treated to more games like this from Nash and Hill in the playoffs. I hope these two guys are back in Suns' uniforms next season doing what only they can do. But if not and this triple overtime game on a Tuesday night with the entire NBA community watching has to be their encore performance, the show couldn't have ended in a better way...except for the final score.