It shouldn't be so difficult to defeat the league's worst team at home, especially when said team is missing their top three scorers. But there were our Suns trailing the Bobcats 54-44 in the 3rd quarter tonight before the bench came in to save the day, and the Suns escaped total embarrassment by pulling out a 95-89 win.
Michael Redd got the start in place of the injured (thigh bruise) Jared Dudley. Dudley looked quite dapper in his suit on the bench and Redd looked impressive himself, leading the Suns with 17 points behind 4-7 3-point shooting.
The Suns also received excellent production from their two centers as Marcin Gortat put up yet another double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Robin Lopez was the player of the game during the decisive 4th quarter. Lopez ended up with 13 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes of play, in what was his best performance since the season opener almost a month and a half ago.
My mom always taught me never to look a gift horse in the mouth, and a win is a win. But, to beat this team when they're shorthanded, well....a win is a win.The Suns had five players in double digit scoring, but the bench was the real story. The game was tied at 72 going into the 4th, and then the Bobcats showed why they are the league's worst team, scoring 3 points in the first 8 minutes of the quarter as the Suns seized an 84-75 lead when Alvin Gentry sent Steve Nash back into the game to seal the deal. Nash immediately hit a jumper to push the lead to 11 and the Suns coasted to victory from then.
Kemba Walker had a nice game as he led all scorers with 22 points but he went cold along with the rest of the Bobcats and scored only 3 in the 4th, and only had 4 assists in 41 minutes. Reggie Williams scored 21, but the Bobcats bench was overmatched as their bench players were forced into starting duty due to injuries to starters. The Suns' bench outscored the Bobcats' 40-15.
To be fair, the Suns bench didn't benefit solely from Charlotte's ineffectiveness and did play strong defense, yet the story is mostly told by a poor opponent playing poorly. A win is a win, and a win here is so much better than a loss to this terrible team. I was contemplating the headline and tone of this story had the Suns lost and it was leaning in an apocalyptic direction. Whew, apocalypse isn't now....quite.
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"The major problem was when Lopez came in. We didn't box him out and it really changed the whole game around." -- Paul Silas
"I was happy with the way the reserves played which is why they stayed in the game. Robin came in and did a great job and really gave us a big lift and got us over the hump." -- Alvin Gentry
"The was definitely really good for us. Closing out the game like that, I think the game was tied when the bench came in and we ended up pulling it out. I think we can keep playing with that energy -- I mean obviously we will play some better teams -- hopefully, our energy, we can translate that into some wins." -- Robin Lopez
"You know what, one of the proudest moments in my career. One of the proudest moments in my career, and to get the win was obviously the key. But to come back through the tears, through the hurt, through the hours of rehab, training, to come back and accomplish this is maybe the most proudest moment of my career actually." -- Michael Redd