The season is over. Finally.
Coach Jeff Hornacek was as animated in game 82 as any game this season, but the rest of the Suns energy came and went. Mostly, they came to play though. The Clippers are just a much better team, given the Suns injuries and such.
Archie Goodwin led the team with 18 points in a starting role. He also had 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Suns came out trying really hard, just missing shots. They ran the offense and got open looks they just couldn't finish. At least twice, Markieff got wide open threes he didn't take, and those needed to be taken against DeAndre Jordan.
The Suns hung tough all quarter, but Blake Griffin was the difference making his first 6 shots to set the tone.
Clippers 32-26 after one.
Here's where it gets real messy. The Clipper awful terrible second unit kicked the Suns butts up and down the court to create separation that wasn't even there before.
Gerald Green and Jerel McNeal made an art form out of back court turnovers. Gerald even one-upped McNeal by creating the turnovers himself, dribbling off his foot, leg and/or dribbling the ball so hard he missed it on the way back up and turned it over.
Both teams' starters came back mid-2nd but it wasn't really a game anymore. The Clippers were in cruise mode and teh Suns couldn't do anything about it.
Here's how bad it got. After going 4-4 on threes, Chris Paul finally missed one but it turned into TWO offensive rebounds and a J by Paul to score anyway.
Then the quarter ended on P.J. Tucker fouling Blake Griffin as time expired... on a three pointer... where Griffin made all three free throws.
Suns outscored 37-17 in the second quarter, half of which was played by the Clips awful bench.
Clips up 69-43.
The Suns held the lead at 26 for most of the quarter, at least. So there's that.
The bench unit, what it was tonight, helped the Suns outscore the Clippers bench a bit, and cut the lead to 21 at the end of three WITH A THREE POINTER BY EARL BARRON. He's better at threes than layups or putbacks. I'm serious.
Suns PR trying to pump up the crowd, and somehow it worked a bit.
The Suns cut the Clippers lead to 14 on the back of Gerald Green and Earl Barron, and a little P.J. Tucker.
Unfortunately, the Suns run was stopped by three pointers by Lester Hudson (his third on the night) and Hedo Turkoglu. Of course.
It was an entertaining fourth anyway.
Clippers 112, Suns 101.