Suns by 1 at halftime.
First half roll call:
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Thursday, Apr 19, 2012, 7:30 PM MST
US Airways Center
posted by Alex Laugan about 1 hour ago
8 comments | 0 recs
The best thing about the Clippers -- from the Suns' perspective -- is that they don't have James Harden on their roster. Harden, of the only-two-career-30-point-games-before-last-night's-40 Hardens. At the middle of the 4th, Harden had made 20-of-27 shots (9-of-13 3-pointers) and 20-of-21 free throws for 70 points in his last two games against the Suns. Ugh.
But enough about last night's game.
Tonight's opponent is no easier. Since scuffling a few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Clippers have righted their ship by winning 13 of their last 15 games to hold onto 4th place in the West, including a 92-77 win over the Thunder three nights ago (Harden was 1-of-11 in that game, by the way) and a 104-98 win over Denver last night. Chris Paul is possibly the best PG in the league, and Blake Griffin is a dunking, double-double, highlight machine.
But hey, Grant Hill might be back! And the Suns stars might be rested and ready for a big game. Steve Nash had only five assists in 28 minutes of action. Marcin Gortat has plenty of baskets saved up in his back pocket after going 2 for 13 against the Thunder. And the Suns as a whole did not waste a lot of energy against the Thunder, looking quite flat most of the night. No bruises or scrapes from laying out for the ball, no bruised wrists from dunking too hard or anything like that.
Tonight is different. Tonight HAS to be different. If the Suns don't play with all-out abandon against the Clippers tonight, then they will have a tough time making the playoffs.
This is the latest iteration of "it," Suns fans. After dropping back to 9th place last night, the Suns need to win three of their last four games, including a win over Utah, to comfortably win a playoff spot.
The Suns have not lost two games in a row since the last time they played the Clippers on the second night of a back-to-back on March 28. But that was a road game, the Suns' sixth game in six different cities in eight nights.
This time the Suns are at home, where they have won 11 of their last 14.
They have beaten the Clippers two out of three times this year, the only loss on the aforementioned sixth game in six different cities in eight nights.
And on games with no rest (back end of B2B or B2B2B), the Suns have won 10 of their last 14, so there's no reason fatigue should be a factor either.
You know what time it is, time to get clickin'. Catch up on all your Suns-relevant news right here and feel free to leave a comment about anything.
The Suns Twitter-front has been pretty silent in the wake of last night's game, the only one to tweet has been Jared Dudley.
Find the Links after the Jump!
Suns Vs. Thunder Video Highlights And Postgame Comments - Bright Side Of The Sun
Your best source for quality Phoenix Suns news, rumors, analysis, stats and scores from the fan perspective.
Suns Can't Stop Harden, Thunder Win 109-97 - Bright Side Of The Sun
Tough loss tonight. James Harden played like a superstar.
What Is Going On With Marcin Gortat? - Bright Side Of The Sun
A word of caution, however. Gortat has said he wants to dunk more, but do not expect to see him turn into Stoudemire or Griffin. He really is a finesse player and is very good at it. Gortat is so efficient in the pick-and-roll because he doesn't waste any time. He dives to the basket and gets it up on the glass, often without a dribble (always a good thing for a big man). He's so good at using angles and finishing on the move. We will still see plenty of that.
2012 NBA Mock Draft: Phoenix Suns Look To Upgrade Depth - SB Nation Arizona
The Phoenix Suns have one pick this year in the 2012 NBA Draft, but it is in the first round, and it's currently situated somewhere midway through the round. The Suns do have it in a good spot though, and they should be able to get a quality player who has a good chance of panning out.
Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Phoenix Suns 97 -- Playoff push Hardened
The Suns’ coach also was not pleased with the play of his bigs. His biggest gripe had to do with the ease through which Harden and Durant were able to knife through the Suns’ defense and get to the cup, but he was also talking about Marcin Gortat’s offensive performance. Gortat missed 10-of-12 shots, many of them bunnies right around the lane that just rolled off.
John MacLeod joins the Phoenix Suns' Ring of Honor
Westphal spoke to the crowd and said MacLeod’s "work ethic was unbelievable. He’s a tireless worker. His answer to everything is: ‘We’ve got to work harder.’ Everything was work and team play." Westphal added that the standard MacLeod set for teamwork and professionalism has carried over to future generations of Suns basketball.
"Phoenix came out and they’ve been playing good basketball, you have to give them a lot of credit. We knew we were going to be in for a tough game tonight, especially at the start of the game and they were going to give us some great effort. I thought that we did a better job when that second unit came in and really being physical and playing with more toughness and not allowing them to have open shots. We were fortunate they missed some shots."
Phoenix Suns suffer a hard loss to Oklahoma City Thunder
The Suns' most surly award goes to Steve Nash, who took the team lead in technical fouls this season with his fifth. At courtside, it was audible that Nash was colorfully telling official John Goble to not point at him while Nash debated a call. Suns coach Alvin Gentry came to Nash's defense immediately with official Jason Phillips with choice words about what Goble did and got another technical for it. The Suns got a temporary push-back fire out of it until Derek Fisher hit a buzzer-beating jumper at the end of the third quarter.
John MacLeod joins Ring of Honor as Phoenix Suns' winningest coach
"The 13 years plus that John MacLeod gave this franchise were extraordinary," Colangelo said. "We were in the early stages of the franchise. It brought stability when John came and put in his system. You did a great thing for this city and franchise."
azcentral.com blogs - Coro's Orange Slices - PaulCoro - Suns might need to win out
"This is a big game," Nash said. "It’s an emotional game. I thought it was a simple call. Maybe I was a little loud. Then he got loud back at me. I asked him to not be demonstrative with me and he Ts me up.
Harden's Career High Leads Thunder To Win Over Suns - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |
Harden outscored the entire Phoenix bench who tallied 35 points. He finished with 12-of-17 shooting from the floor, 5-of-8 from 3-point range, 11-of-11 from the free throw line to go with seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. Harden's previous career high was 33 against Charlotte earlier this season.
James Harden scores a career-high for the second time this season against the Suns | ProBasketballTalk
Before the Suns faced the Thunder on Wednesday, Alvin Gentry had some high praise for Oklahoma City's James Harden. Phoenix's head coach said that he and his staff were talking about Harden in preparing for this matchup, and once they got past Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, they were hard-pressed to name a two-guard in the entire league who has played as well as Harden has this season.
Basketball Prospectus | Phoenix Health
Phoenix truly seems to be playing a different game than the rest of the league when it comes to injury prevention and management
BallinEurope, the European Basketball news site " Blog Archive " On the continued rise of The Dragon
When Lowry went down with an injury, it seemed the Rockets season and hopes for the playoffs were over. Instead, Dragic has led the way as the Rockets continue to battle for the final playoff position – how fitting that the battle be with Steve Nash’s Suns.