Oklahoma City Thunder 107, Phoenix Suns 97 By beating the New Orleans Hornets and avoiding a three-game losing skid to begin their season, the Phoenix Suns showed that they’re nowhere close to...

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It came against a New Orleans Hornets squad missing its leading scorer that won’t remind anybody of the Seven Seconds or Less Suns even at full strength following the Chris Paul trade. But for...

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Fight, fight, fight!  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

As a preview/thread/recap guy, I believe I got off to a 3-10 start last year before "righting the ship" later in the season. So far, it looks like I'm bucking the trend. 1-0 to date!

But enough about me.

The Phoenix Suns got that soft-stuff throwing monkey off their backs in time to record their first win of the season, leading the Hornets for virtually the entire game. The Suns' defense (and Hornets' anemic shooting effort) held the Hornets to a franchise-low 28.9% shooting. Franchise low! Only their 24 offensive rebounds kept the Hornets' deficit within 15 points in the second half.

Suns' heroes in this win: Hakim Warrick (18 and 7 in 25 minutes), Channing Frye (16 rebounds), Marcin Gortat (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 charges taken and a couple big fourth-quarter hoops when the Suns really needed it) and Steve Nash (12 assists).

Frye still can't make many 3-pointers, and Nash can't make much of anything at all (6-23 between them) from the field, but they still helped the Suns get into the win column. In fact, every Suns player that hit the floor did so with a ton of effort. It also helped that the Hornets hit their wall tonight after beating the Suns without Jarrett Jack on Monday, and then the Celtics without Eric Gordon on Wednesday.

Good thing, because the Suns play in Oklahoma City tomorrow night. This win was needed, which is why Nash was re-inserted into the game for 8 fourth-quarter minutes where the lead didn't get below 9 points.

But hey, I remember the Suns re-inserting Nash for the last few minutes to close out a few games last year after a big lead, and too often Nash never got his mojo back and the Suns lost the game. Once, or twice, to the Kings comes immediately to mind. And there were a few others as well.

But not tonight. Not in this game. The Suns never backed down. They fought, scrapped, clawed and found a way to keep the lead right through the closing bell.

1-2 looks a lot better than 0-3, doesn't it?

Sure, the Hornets helped the Suns win by missing so many shots. And sure, their best scorer - Eric Gordon - did not play in the game.

But you have to give the Suns credit here. The Bugs beat the Celtics on Wednesday without Gordon in that game either. By 19 points. And in all their years of existence, the Hornets have never shot so poorly. The Suns' defense had something to do with that. 10 blocks, 13 forced turnovers, contested shot after contested shot.

Other Suns contributors:

  • Shannon Brown had 11 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals and an assist in only 16 minutes
  • Jared Dudley had 16 points
  • Grant Hill gutted out 10 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists
Markieff Morris must have been learning a lesson tonight. He came in early and picked up 2 ticky-tack fouls on sneaky Carl Landry in less than a minute of play. Sitting out the next quarter was expected. But sitting out the rest of the game? That had to be a message from Gentry. Morris' head must not have been in the right place. Or, it could simply be that Frye and Warrick were rebounding so well that Gentry saw no need for the rookie. Who knows. Either way, the Suns won and that's all that matters.

Kudos to the Suns for digging deep and never letting up tonight. THAT'S the effort we need to see every game for the Suns to win.


THIS  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Talk amongst yourselves while I write the recap.

Rejoice!


No easy baskets! (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Let's do this, Suns!




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