...some pretty rough basketball is played.

That is what happened between the Phoenix Suns (5-2) and the New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) in the teams second game in five nights. Early in the season the team spoiled the fans with exciting up-and-down basketball. This game they proved it is not how you start a game, but how you close it.

Normally the closer role is reserved for Eric Bledsoe, but tonight the Suns relied on plays from Markieff Morris, Goran Dragic, Gerald Green, Bledsoe, and an entire team effort in the forth quarter.

The game never got out of hand with the Suns biggest lead through three quarters only reaching eight and the Pelicans getting to four. It was a close game all-around until late when the Suns clung to a three point lead before separating it out for a (95-88) win.

Bledsoe turned it on late for the Suns scoring (7) of his 24 points late. He was the closer on the offensive end, but the credit for this win has to go to the interior defense in the fourth quarter of Miles Plumlee and Co.

There was no room for Anthony Davis or any of the Pelicans to make plays in the fourth quarter as Plumlee locked it down with four blocks. The swarming Suns defense was tremendous late only allowing a few rotation threes from Eric Gordon, but nothing inside the paint. The real story of this game was Markieff, again.

For a fourth straight game Markieff was on top of his game scoring 23 points and pulling down 5 rebounds. He was a go-to offensive player in the half court and led the way off the bench again.

Green stepped up with 12 points including a few spectacular dunks in this one. It was his fifth game in a row with double-digit scoring, a career best. Goran Dragic also returned to action scoring 12 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Can Dragic and Markieff become a bench duo?

The Suns are now 4-0 at home and have had a margin of victory of under 10 points in five of seven games. Up next is another rematch with the Portland Trail Blazers on the road on Wednesday night.

PHOENIX — It wasn’t a pretty game, but for the Phoenix Suns it was one they’d easily take. Jeff Hornacek’s team overcame stagnant offense and a lead seemingly way too slim...

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PHOENIX — It wasn’t a pretty game, but for the Phoenix Suns it was one they’d easily take. Jeff Hornacek’s team overcame stagnant offense and a lead seemingly way too slim...

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Time: 5 p.m. MST TV: FSA The Phoenix Suns finish off their mini two-game home stand Sunday night against the New Orleans Pelicans — a team they beat 104-98 just five days ago. New Orleans...

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Hey look in the desert air, it is a bird, it is a plane, no it is a... Oh, wait it is a plane full of birds. The PELICANS are in town for a re-match. What happens when a Pelican flies into a desert?

This game happened the other day in the bayou where the Phoenix Suns (4-2) took care of the New Orleans Pelicans (3-3) who are still trying to figure out how to swallow the fish they have collected, so to speak.

The first time these two teams faced off the Suns were out of their minds from three (6-12) by their standards.

The first time these two teams played the Pelicans were indifferent as a defensive unit (98.2 points per game) giving up 100+ in two out of three games.

So many things have changed. Since then the Pelicans are undefeated, college basketball has started, and another Thor movie has hit theaters. Things have changed and these two teams are very different since the first meeting. That was a little tongue in cheek, but in a few ways these are two different teams than they were just five days ago.

The Pelicans have won their last two games and, as a unit, are starting to fortify their defensive identity. The Suns have maintained their play begging the question: Is this Suns team for real?

It is early in the season, but these two teams look like they could both vie for a 6-8 seed in the playoffs. Again, this is very early to talk about the playoffs, but the Pelicans and the Suns have intangibles for good regular season teams. They are both scrappy defensive teams with young talent that competes nightly. Right now they each have rising stars, but neither has a superstar.

The first match-up was fun and the Suns came away with the win, they will look to repeat that formula again tonight.

(Recent) History Lesson

104-98, Suns Win

The history of the Pelicans and the Suns is short. For the Pelicans, they have a short history with every team in the NBA and no history with most. Once a Hornet, now a Pelican, either way they are a flying thing of a different name. They still sting the same.

In the first meeting Eric Bledsoe was unguardable and dominated the game (10-12 shooting) giving them a quality edge going into the fourth quarter where his heroics were not needed. More on that below.

Head-to-Head (past four seasons including Playoffs)

Suns: 97.9 PPG (6 wins)

Pelicans: 97.0 PPG (6 wins)

Whether it was Steve Nash v. Chris Paul battling for playoff seeding or more recently as two lottery teams trying to figure it out, the series has been dead even over the years. As of late the games have been more defensive struggles with the Pelicans/Hornets getting the better of the Suns, but this year the teams have each evolved. This series could remain dead even in the coming years, but with more entertaining games with young talent.

Head-to-Head (Snapshot of new point guards in new places)

Holiday: 13.7 PPG 7.2 APG 2.0 SPG 37.3 FG% (6 games)

Bledsoe: 20.5 PPG 7.3 APG 2.0 SPG 50.6 FG% (6 games)

While Holiday had an opportunity to be a starter and run his team out in Philadelphia, he, like Bledsoe, is in a new place running a new franchise. Through six games each of these point guards have their respective teams playing winning basketball.

The primary difference between the two; fourth quarter points. This season Bledsoe has been the closer and Holiday has not. Bledsoe has scored 50 fourth quarter points (8.3 per game) while Holiday has only scored 17 (2.8) in the final period, a total Bledsoe matched in one game this season.

Starting Line-Ups

PG - Eric Bledsoe v. Jrue Holiday

SG - Gerald Green v. Eric Gordon

SF - P.J. Tucker v. Al-Farouq Aminu

PF - Channing Frye v. Anthony Davis

C - Miles Plumlee v. Jason Smith

Potential Suns Inactives: Goran Dragic (Left Ankle, Gametime Decision), Alex Len (Left Ankle, Game-to-Game), and Emeka Okafor (Neck, Out Indefinitely)

Potential Pelicans Inactives: Ryan Anderson (Toe, Questionable)

Key Match-Up

Frye vs. Davis

Even for his standards, Davis has been playing out of his mind these past two games. He is averaging 25 PPG 10.5 RPG 4.5 BPG 2.5 APG 2.0 SPG while shooting 53.1% from the field. Oh, and 16-20 from the free-throw line going head-to-head against the Memphis Grizzlies front-line and Pau Gasol in LA. where the Pelicans won both games. He is on another planet right now and the responsibility for slowing him down could be tasked on Frye.

Frye's ability to spread the floor as a shooter could be his best defense against Davis keeping his length out of the paint making plays as a shot-blocker and causing turnovers. Frye (and Markieff Morris, more on him below) will have to keep the pressure on Davis on the perimeter to water down his effectiveness like in the last game.

Interesting Stat: 22.7 PPG 9.0 RPG 4.7 FTA 68.3 FG% (3-Games)

That is the best three game stretch for Markieff Morris in his career at the NBA level. That stretch is current and started against New Orleans earlier this week. In the end the numbers will come back down to earth, but if they do not then the Suns have the 6th Man of the Year, Most Improved Player, and a Top 5 Power Forward on their bench this year all wrapped into one No. 11 Suns jersey.

Meaningless Stat: -11 First Quarter

On the road the Suns were down 17-28 after the first quarter, a trend on the road as they are -16 collectively in three games, but came back to win by six points against the Pelicans. That is a +17 swing in quarters two through four. The Suns are a different team at home starting off the first three games 3-0 with a +26 margin in the opening quarter. That start in New Orleans is meaningless, misleading stat.

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