In what was a shootout reminiscent of the run-n-gun Suns of old, The Phoenix Suns battled back and forth with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but ultimately came up short at the end losing 127-124.
The Timberwolves were led by Kevin Love and his 30 points and 7 rebounds after a very slow start to the game. Nikola Pekovic was also a handful in the paint scoring 24 points and grabbing 8 boards. The Suns were led by Jared Dudley and his 28 points, 9 rebounds to keep the Suns close throughout the game. Steve Nash also gave a valiant effort with 25 points and 10 assists as well.
Marcin Gortat sat on the bench throughout most of the game due to foul trouble early on, and he was never able to overcome his struggles and missed two free throws near the end of the fourth quarter that could have put the Suns down by only one. Robin Lopez played fairly well tonight scoring 10 points and blocking 3 shots in his 24 minutes of play, but the Suns just aren't the same team without Gortat.
Full Recap coming tomorrow morning. Continue on after the jump to see the game notes
"[...]we just have to do a better job of understanding what happens in rotations. We can't let Kevin Love catch the ball and shoot nine times without ever putting it down. That's a little bit disappointing."
"We have to step to the line and make the free throws. Robin (Lopez) played solid and that's what's going to happen sometime. We can't always depend on the exact rotation we have. Marcin (Gortat) came back in, he's got to be able to play in foul trouble and we just didn't quite get it done."
Marcin Gortat (8 pts, 4 rebs, 4 fouls, 2-6 FTA)
"Tough game. I just wasn't read to play today."
"They have the best power forward in the league. I mean Kevin Love is just a tremendous player and we can't let him do all of these things on the floor. We have to make adjustments when he starts hitting threes and starts scoring and we didn't do that."
Jared Dudley (28 pts, 9 reb, 10-15 FGA)
"We just did a poor job defensively, obviously, to say the least. But even with that, our offense kept us in the game and still gave us a chance at the end to win the game."
"I think the pick and roll with Love and Pekovic and how we were at one point having the wings try and rotate over to Love and the bigs."
Steve Nash (25 pts, 10 ast. 10-16 FGA)
"It was an offensive game tonight, we couldn't slow each other down. They just made more plays than we did in the end."
"We shot the ball. We have to have people shoot the ball. The other thing we did was we really moved it. We had 15 assists in the first half when they came out to double team Kevin (Love) and we were trying to change things up and our guys move the ball."
Luke Ridnour starting at the point in place of Rubio as expected
Gortat hits his first shot of the game…More please!
Gortat then misses his next two…sigh
Jump ball between Gortat and Ridnour…Not exactly a fair match
Frye with a big time block on Pek…Dudley then hits the transition three!
Dudley moving nicely without the ball and gets rewarded at the rim with a dish from Nash & and-1!
Pekovic becoming a force inside as expected, hits his fourth wide open shot when Suns leave him to cover Love…Now has 11 points to lead the Wolves. Can’t leave him open when double-teaming.
Robin Lopez coming in early for Gortat who gets his second foul…let’s see if Robin has more success against Pekovic
Dudley has 10 to lead the Suns so far halfway through the first quarter
Dudley with a nice steal on Pek and goes coast to coast to draw contact at the rim but no foul!
Pekovic is making the most of opportunistic scoring due to Suns’ double teams leaving him either open or with a mismatch.
Lopez having another effective night so far…already has 6 points
Suns lead 34-28 at the end of the 1st quarter. Suns shooting 62%, Wolves 52%. Suns with 10rbs, Wolves with 13rbs. Suns with 1 TO’s, Wolves with 3 TO’s. Dudley leading the Suns with 12 points, Nikola Pekovic leading the Wolves with 15 points. Nash also has 8 points and 6 assists already.
Suns’ second unit in to start the second quarter with exception of Grant Hill who is in to help them.
JJ Barea in for the Wolves…He hasn’t been playing lately due to an injury
Beasley hits his second three of the game and already has 8 points…Don’t want to see him get hot!
Grant Hill is in obvious pain with his back…not good. We need him on Beasley right now who is starting to catch fire.
Morris hits his first shot of the game…Good sign for him, let’s hope this breaks his funk
Morris with another hit! Glad to see him staying inside the arc to establish his rhythm
Beasley continuing his hot streak…
The Suns’ bench is getting and taking good shots but they are just bouncing out of the rim
Beasley now on fire…15 points on 3-3 shooting from three and 6-7 overall
Wolves now lead the Suns 47-46 midway through the second quarter
Gortat back in now for Lopez who also gave the Suns quality minutes scoring 8 points and blocking 3 shots in 11 minutes.
Grant Hill is expected to return to the court shortly…Great news for the Suns!
Just like that Gortat gets whistled for his third foul…Lopez coming right back in to take his place.
In comes Grant Hill! No more free-for-all for Beasley
Derrick Williams now also catching fire…He has 10 points on 3-6 shooting
Frye neglects to box out D-Will off a missed Barea free throw…D-Will converts with a foul for the chance for a three point play.
Gentry puts Nash back in to anchor the offense…Steve re-introduces himself with a quick three.
Grant Hill with a nice jumper…Great to see him back in action after a brief scare
Pekovic racking up fouls on the Suns’ bigs…Gortat with 3 and now Lopez with 2 in the first half
Wolves starting to pull away now…This isn’t looking good . Suns need to step up their D and box out.
Wolves lead 63-56 at the end of the 1st half. Suns shooting 48%, Wolves 53%. Suns with 25rbs, Wolves with 31rbs. Suns with 2 TO’s, Wolves with 6 TO’s. Nash leading the Suns with 13 points, Nikola Pekovic leading the Wolves with 16 points…Beasley has 15 points along with Williams and Ellington each with 12 points. Wolves bench is getting it done for them.
The complete first unit finally back on the floor to start the 3rd quarter…Let’s see if Gortat can stay out there without picking up another foul
Dudley picking back up where he left off…scores two baskets right off the bat
Dudley is MAN ON FIRE!!! Hitting three’s and jumpers all over the court and shooting with confidence…he now has 22!
Frye hits a three as well as the Suns regain the lead 76-73 with the starters back in control. Timeout Wolves
And just like that, Gortat gets his 4th foul…Hello Lopez
Suns have to stay aggressive here as the Wolves have tied it up at 80-80.
Score going back and forth now but the Suns are starting to flatten out after a great run to retake the lead briefly
Wolves now back up 92-85…Suns struggling once more and Gentry is looking to find an answer to get more energy and offense…Might we see some Hak?
Nope, no Hakim yet…But Dudley scores on a nice drive to the rim after the timeout
After a stop at the other end, Nash gets the basket and draws the foul…92-90 Here we come!
Wolves are now 11-16 from beyond the arc…That can’t continue!
Wolves are now 11-16 from beyond the arc…That can’t continue!
Lopez doing a nice job tonight in place for Gortat who has only played 15 minutes.
Derrick Williams continuing his hot streak hitting another 3. Now has 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Frye answers back with a three of his own. Suns back up 105-104
Derrick Williams hits another three. Get on him!
Telfair hits a three and draws the foulwhich he converts…4 point play
Bassy then gets a steal and fast breaks to the hoop…Telfair taking the game over!!! Suns up 111-107
Markieff with another block…He’s had his best game since before the all-star break
Ellington hits a three for the T-wolves to retake the lead 112-111
Channing Frye answers back with a three as well...
Wolves and Suns in a real shoot out going back and forth…Team with the last shot may get the win
Kevin Love quietly having another great night...has 28 points
Game coming down to the final seconds with the Wolves up 125-122 with 17 seconds left
T-Wolves win . Suns shot 52%, Wolves 57%. Suns with 47rbs, Wolves with 49rbs. Suns with 2 TO’s, Wolves with 6 TO’s. Dudley led the Suns with 28 points, 9 rebounds, Kevin Love led the Wolves with30 points, 7 rebounds