The Suns and Pacers played a good old-fashioned shootout tonight, with the Suns prevailing 113-111. Steve Nash added another masterpiece to his ever-growing collection with 17 assists and 12 points, Grant Hill showed he loves playing in Indianapolis with a season-high 22 points, and Marcin Gortat came up strong in his duel with All-Star center Roy Hibbert, scoring 23.
Channing Frye had something of a reprise of his game-winner at Indy last year, hitting his lone 3-pointer of the night with 29 seconds left to pound another nail in the Pacers' coffins, giving the Suns a 109-103 lead, but then missed two free throws with the Suns clinging to a 111-108 lead, and it came down to a last second desperation miss from the Pacers for the Suns to pull it out.
Indiana was led by Danny Granger's 28 points, including a perfect 4-4 from behind the arc, while Hibbert went for 19 points and 7 rebounds. Pacers head coach Frank Vogel was ejected with 1:56 remaining for berating officials over questionable calls and drawing his second technical foul.
The Suns were able to overcome 52% FG shooting and a 61-point first half by the Pacers to climb back to.500 at 24-24 on the season, snapping a two-game losing streak and winning again versus a team in playoff position. They now sit at two games behind the eighth seed Rockets.
A .500 team is the very definition of average, but the Suns are giving fans some thrills this season. With about a month to go, they're right in the mix and playing their best ball of the season. Tough teams await, but the Suns are capable of beating tough teams when they score like they did tonight. Going into this game, the Pacers were 9th in the league in defensive efficiency, surrendering only 92.6 PPG. Tonight, the Suns blew those numbers out of the water.
"If you will it, it is no dream."