The Slash Brothers showed up last night in a big way to help the Suns get a win at home against the Pacers. Here's what they had to say after the game.

The Phoenix Suns took control in the second half against the Indiana Pacers, to ensure a much needed win last night, before embarking on a three game road trip against some tough Western Conference competition.

Goran Dragic scored 34 points, and Eric Bledsoe scored 27.  The Slash Brothers combined for a total of 61 points in their best game of the season.  When you also add in Gerald Green and his 15 points on 5/11 shooting, the Suns back court scored a total of 76 points last night from the guard position.  And they did it without the help of Isaiah Thomas who was still out with a bruised ankle.

After allowing the Pacers to shoot 58% in the first quarter, and 61% in the second quarter to take a 56-54 lead going into the half, the Suns allowed only 43 points in the second half, dropping the Pacers' field goal percentage to only 40% in the third quarter, and just 33% in the fourth.

That was the biggest difference in the game.  Not only because of the points, but because the Suns were able to get out and run much more on Indiana's missed baskets than they did in the first half, which helped them to execute their transition offense as well...which is when the Suns are at their best.

Here's what the Suns' coach and the players had to say about the win (and a big thanks to our awesome video guy Evan Wendt for editing these videos late last night!).

Suns Coach, Jeff Hornacek

Hornacek mentioned that he didn't think the Suns necessarily played bad defense in the first half, but that Indiana was executing very well, and making some tough shots, which I agree with.  The Pacers not only made a ton of tough shots in the first half, they also made more than their fair share of lucky ones.  Fortunately, their shot percentages regressed to the mean in the second half, and the Suns were able to take advantage of it.

Gerald Green

The normally lively and out-spoken Gerald Green was a man of few words tonight.  He didn't seem upset or unhappy whatsoever, he just wasn't in the mood to do a lot of talking for whatever reason...which is fine.  Green was another key part of last night's win, hitting some big threes and timely shots when the Pacers started to scratch their way back in it.  Green helped the Suns keep them at bay, and pull out a big victory in the fourth quarter with enough time to let the rookies play.

Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe humbly credited Goran, saying that he "had it going" tonight, and he and the rest of the team just helped him out.  However, Bledsoe had a great night himself, not only with his 27 points, but leading the team in assists with 7, getting his hands on 4 steals, and grabbing 3 rebounds as well.  Great all around game tonight from the Suns' $70 million dollar man.

Goran Dragic

Goran talked at length tonight answering many questions in the huge media scrum surrounding him in the locker room after his best performance of the season, and the third highest scoring game of his career.  Dragic talked about how much more effective the guards are when both he and Bledsoe have a good game, because the defense can't focus on just stopping one of them.  He also talked about the importance of pushing the ball, and that he thinks they weren't in as good of condition early in the season, which may have slowed them down and made them less effective.

Dragic also mentioned that the players held a meeting yesterday after practice to discuss their goals as a team, and each write something down on the locker room board that they thought was important for everyone to do, in order to achieve their goals this season.  I thought this was a good sign that the players seem to be on the same page together, and working hard to help each other to be successful this season, as a team.

It's working so far.  Let's hope the Suns can keep it going on the coming road trip, starting Friday.

PHOENIX — Three lists under three questions filled the Suns’ locker room whiteboard, every column in different handwriting. This was Phoenix’s way of talking out any issues of...

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PHOENIX — Whether one change meant the difference is hard to say. If the Phoenix Suns suddenly found their magic potion to success in a 116-99 win over the Indiana Pacers is difficult to...

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The Slash Brothers returned tonight with their best combined game of the season, and helped carry the Suns to a much needed home win.

First Quarter

The Suns begin the game with a new starting lineup of Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, P.J. Tucker, Markieff Morris, and Miles Plumlee.  P.J. Tucker is getting his first start of the season to help the Suns bring more energy, defense, and rebounding back to the starting unit.  Plumlee picks up a foul on the first position trying to deny the pass to Roy Hibbert.  Rodney Stuckey makes the first shot for Indiana.  Dragic answers back with a pull up jumper at the other end for the Suns.  Stuckey hits another shot off of a second-chance shot, and Markieff misses.  Tucker then gets a rebound and passes to Bledsoe who gets the penetration jumper.

Suns still allowing too many offensive rebounds early, as Plumlee defends Hibbert well and causes a miss, but David West gets the put-back.  Suns are running in transition early though, and Dragic is attacking the basket.  Already has six points with two baskets and two free throws.  P.J. ran the fast break with Bledsoe and cleaned up the missed lay-up.  That's the kind of eneregy Suns were looking for from Tucker in the starting line-up.  Suns up 15-8 midway through the quarter.  Timeout Pacers.

Plumlee blocked a dunk from Solomon Hill at the rim that led to a Dragic three at the other end.  Suns starting out much more inspired tonight.  Len also made a great block on Hill, but then saved the ball from going out under the basket which led to an easy dunk by Ian Mahinmi.

Suns getting sloppy again and they let the Pacers right back in the game.  Pacers take the lead 21-20 with 2:45 left in the first.  Timeout Phoenix.  Gerald Green checks in and hits a three immediately to retake Suns lead, but Markieff turn the ball over on the next possession for a fast-break lay-up.  Fortunately, Green comes right back with another three for the Suns to tie it.  But C.J. Watson scores on a back-door cut to the basket to give Pacers the lead at the end of the first quarter.

At the end of the first quarter, the Suns trail the Pacers 28-26. Goran Dragic  is the leading scorer for Phoenix with 9 points, 2 rbs. C.J. Miles leads the Pacers with 7 points, 1 rebound.  Suns are shooting 50% from the field.  Pacers are shooting 56.5%.

Second Quarter

Green makes a beautiful pass to Plumlee who gets fouled on the dunk attempt, but he misses both free-throws.  Anthony Tolliver hits a three on the next possession, but C.J. Watson answers with a three for Indiana.  Plumlee has a wide open dunk knocked out of his hands, but the Suns get the ball at the other end which leads to another fast break by Dragic.  But C.J. Miles answers right back at the other end.

Suns still trading baskets back and forth with Indiana.  Can't continue to let the Pacers shoot over 50% from the field like they are right now.  Timeout Suns.

Things didn't get any better after the timeout.  The Suns are missing their shots, and the Pacers are making theirs.  Chris Copeland hit an open three and C.J. Miles drains a mid-range jumper without an answer from Phoenix.  Timeout Suns they're down nine.

Suns go small with Dragic, Bledsoe, Green, Tucker, and Markieff.  This unit is playing with more energy and running the break, starting to chip away again at the Pacers lead.  Still need to get more stops and keep running.  Plumlee comes back in with about four minutes to go, and the Suns continue to keep the fast pace, but they are having some bad breaks on defense, and unable to stop Pacers from scoring.

Dragic has been the saving grace for the Suns so far, and is keeping them in the game.  He hits another big three right before half to cut the lead to just two.

At the end of the second quarter, the Suns trail the Pacers 56-54.  Goran Dragic is the leading scorer for Phoenix with 22 points on 8/10 shooting.  C.J. Watson leads the Pacers with 10 points, 5 assists.  Suns are shooting 47% from the field.  Pacers are shooting 60%.

Third Quarter

The Suns begin with the same unit that started the game.  Bledsoe slashes in from the wing and catches a pass from Dragic for the first basket.  Plumlee gets fouled on a nice pass inside, and makes one of two from the line....the one he missed was an air-ball though...oops

Suns force a shot clock hail-mary from the Pacers, but it goes in on the bank's been that kind of night for them.  Bledsoe hits another three, then Goran gets a rebound and initiates a fast break with Bledsoe along side.  Goran passes to Bledsoe for the lay-up.  Suns need more of that.  Pacers finally starting to miss as Phoenix continues to push the pace.  Suns jump up to a 66-61 lead.  Timeout Indiana.

David West hits a jumper out of the timeout, and Alex Len misses a lay-up, but Markieff gets the ball ion transition and runs for a dunk at the other end.  Suns still pushing and playing better defensively.  Pacers now down 10 with under four minutes to go in third.  Dragic is playing aggressively, and getting to the line more in this game than he has in any other this season.  His play is making all of the difference tonight.  Bledsoe, Markieff, and Green all doing their parts as well.

Green fouled Miles slapping him in the face unintentionally.  A flagrant one was assessed anyway, and the Pacers then get a terrible call on a foul by Len on Hibbert, even though his hands were straight up.  Pacers helped close the gap with that at the end on the third.

At the end of the third quarter, the Suns lead the Pacers 83-79. Goran Dragic is the leading scorer for Phoenix with 26 points.  C.J. Miles leads the Pacers with 17 points.  Suns are shooting 48.4% from the field.  Pacers are now shooting 53.1%.

Fourth Quarter

The Suns begin the fourth with a lay-up by Plumlee on an assist by Bledsoe.  Then Bledsoe pulls up off the dribble for a jumper.  Luis Scola stops the run with a patient up-and-under on Plumlee.

Marcus hits a jumper, then Bledsoe is fouled hard and gets up and walks away to avoid a technical foul.  Not a flagrant, but Bledsoe makes both free throws to keep the Suns up 10.  Bledsoe is also having a very good game...Already has 20 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds.

The Pacers started chipping away at the Suns lead again, but the Suns were able to bounce back with a Dragic three, followed by a fast break dunk from Bledsoe to put Phoenix back up by 11 with six minutes to go in the game. Timeout Pacers...Suns just need to hold on.

Suns start running more clock in half-court offense, and playing solid defense on the Pacers at the other end.  Indiana's field goal percentage keeps dropping.

The Pacers

Dragic nails another three, and then passes to Markieff to add another assist to his stat line as well.  Definitely the best game of the young season for Dragic.

Goran ends the game with 34 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists in his 35 minutes of play.  Bledsoe also had a great game with his 27 points, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds in 38 minutes.  When the Suns' starting back court plays like they did to night, they are very hard to beat.

Game Over, Suns Win!

The Suns tightened up their defense in the third and fourth quarters, and continued to be aggressive, allowing them to take control throughout the second half.

Suns get a much needed win at home before going on a tough three-game road trip starting on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks

After US Airways and American Airlines declined to extend their naming rights deal with the Phoenix Suns, the Suns went where the money is locally and announced a deal to call their home building the Talking Stick Resort Arena. I'm sure they will try and call it "The Stick".

The Phoenix Suns announced today that Casino Arizona has taken over the naming rights for their stadium now that US Airways has ended their relationship with the Suns. US Airways is merging with American Airlines, and American already names at least one other NBA arena.

From the Suns announcement:

"Like Talking Stick Resort, this venue has become an iconic destination for entertainment in Arizona," said President Diane Enos of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the owner and operator of Talking Stick Resort. "Thousands of families and individuals have created long-lasting memories at this venue which makes its new name, ‘Talking Stick Resort Arena,' all the more meaningful. We have a shared commitment with the Phoenix Suns in building a sense of community in the Valley and we are honored to help them provide a place for so many people to gather and celebrate."

Other names suggested (but not accepted by the team) on Twitter include:







Not all of them were good ideas, but some were quite memorable!

All were better than the "Pink Taco Stadium", named after the Pink Taco restaurant chain, that was (reportedly) nearly accepted by the Bidwill family for the Arizona Cardinals stadium many years ago before they (again, reportedly) realized the double entendre meaning of the phrase and chose University of Phoenix as the naming partner instead.

How do you feel about a publicly-funded arena bearing the name of a casino? What does it say about the local economy that this is the company with money to throw around?

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