The Houston Rockets closed out the first quarter with a 17-6 run and never looked back in a sloppy, turnover-laden 99-81 victory over the Phoenix Suns at the Toyota Center in Houston. Phoenix had its...

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Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash (13) works his way around Houston Rockets defender Luis Scola (4) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

The Phoenix Suns had no legs tonight, unable to keep up with the Rockets on either end of the floor. The Rockets stayed true to their M.O., grabbing every rebound and loose ball they could reach. And with the Suns playing at 3/4 speed, that was a lot.

Frankly, this Suns team doesn't have the talent to compete unless Steve Nash is playing at his very best. Nash looked a tiny bit slow tonight, which basically means he looked only marginally faster than the rest of his teammates but a tick slower than the Rockets.

Should we be surprised at the outcome of this game? No. The Rockets are 10-3 at home, while the Suns are 4-8 on the road. The Rockets rebound very well on both ends, while the Suns don't rebound well at either end. Channing Frye once again looked like one of the worst PF in the league: soft on defense and anemic on offense, providing no support for the always-steady Marcin Gortat (another double-double 15 and 12, plus 3 blocks and 2 steals).

And did Goran Dragic even bother to smile at the camera and offer hello to his all-time biggest fan? No.*

The sad thing is that the Suns couldn't even force the Rockets to play really hard. Sure the Rockets played quick and smart, but the Suns never made them play HARD. Never made them work. Budinger had an easy 12 and 10 in 24 minutes. Kyle Lowry was hardly noticeable with his 5 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds in only 20 minutes of action. Betcha didn't think he was that close to a triple-double, did ya? No Rocket starter had to play more than 25 minutes tonight. Ugh.

*But at least he didn't kill the Suns. Dragic had 10 points (1 3-ptr), 3 assists and 1 rebound and 4 miscues in 19 minutes. Thanks buddy!

The Dream Shake


Look at that little guy get up in the air! (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)




What the hell. Let's go ahead and steal another game on the road! Why not, right?


Sigh. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez)

Coming off their highest scoring game of the year, the Phoenix Suns try to steal a win against a Rockets team that has been playing extremely well, winners of 10 of 12 before dropping their last two.

The Rockets are somehow 4th in rebounds per game, that ranking boosted mostly on offensive rebounds. As far as Suns killers are concerned (besides rebounding, that is), Rockets players Luis Scola, Kyle Lowry and Samuel Dalembert (and even Chase Budinger) always do well against the Suns, while Kevin Martin usually plays poorly.

Yet despite those Suns killers, the Suns have won the last 7 matchups when Steve Nash plays.

Speaking of Nash, the Suns' all-time assists leader, he sure moved well for having a major charlie-horse didn't he? Lets hope nothing swells up in these last couple days. Let's also hope Markieff Morris feels good about himself, having hooked up with his brother for the first time since training camp started, and plays like the savvy rookie we loved in the season's first two weeks.

But let's be honest. BSotS eyes are glued to one guy, and that guy isn't even in the starting lineup for either team. We're all just biding time till late in the first quarter when youknowwho steps onto the court, looking down at the floor while wiping his hands off on the back of his shorts as he walks to midcourt. We're all just waiting for that herky-jerky guy to run the Rockets' second-team offense, hit a couple of threes, commit a couple turnovers and make a couple good passes. We're just hoping the still-Slovenian and former Sun Goran Dragic doesn't make a ton of threes on us, like a lot of other former Suns have this season.

Goran, if you're reading this blog (and you might, since you're a fan of overlord Seth and all), please know that we love you and miss you. You've got nothing to prove tonight. There's no need to take a bunch of shots, no need to play superhero like you did against San Antonio in the playoffs a couple years ago. Just smile into the camera, mouth "Hi Jennifer!" and play your usual game. K? Thanks!

Suns stats...


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Marcin Gortat 21 31.8 6.6 11.8 56.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 3.2 65.7 2.3 7.8 10.1 0.9 1.6 0.6 1.7 2.0 15.3
Steve Nash 19 31.3 6.1 11.0 55.0 1.1 2.7 40.4 1.9 2.3 86.0 0.3 2.0 2.3 9.9 3.4 0.6 0.1 0.6 15.2
Jared Dudley 21 30.0 3.7 8.7 42.9 1.0 2.9 36.1 2.1 2.6 81.8 1.2 2.9 4.1 1.9 0.9 1.0 0.2 1.4 10.6
Grant Hill 20 25.9 3.7 9.1 40.3 0.3 1.2 20.8 1.6 1.9 86.5 0.6 2.9 3.4 1.4 1.5 0.7 0.7 1.8 9.2
Shannon Brown 20 20.8 3.4 8.6 39.0 0.8 2.5 32.0 1.4 1.7 81.8 0.5 1.6 2.1 0.9 1.2 1.0 0.2 1.3 8.9
Hakim Warrick 18 17.2 2.9 6.3 45.6 0.1 0.4 14.3 2.2 2.9 73.6 1.1 1.8 2.9 0.9 1.1 0.2 0.1 1.2 8.0
Markieff Morris 21 20.5 2.8 6.6 42.0 1.0 2.0 48.8 0.8 1.0 76.2 1.1 3.8 5.0 1.0 1.2 0.6 0.5 3.0 7.2
Channing Frye 21 22.1 2.6 7.3 35.7 1.1 3.6 30.7 0.9 1.0 90.0 1.0 4.6 5.6 1.0 0.9 0.6 0.8 2.4 7.2
Sebastian Telfair 15 12.6 1.7 5.5 31.3 0.7 1.5 45.5 1.1 1.4 81.0 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.4 0.9 0.8 0.0 1.7 5.3
Robin Lopez 19 13.5 1.5 3.4 45.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.4 1.8 74.3 1.0 2.1 3.1 0.4 0.8 0.1 0.6 2.3 4.4
Ronnie Price 21 17.0 1.6 4.1 39.1 0.5 1.6 33.3 0.6 0.7 85.7 0.6 1.1 1.7 2.4 1.4 1.0 0.1 2.1 4.3
Michael Redd 8 10.1 1.0 3.8 26.7 0.5 1.9 26.7 1.0 1.5 66.7 0.0 0.6 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.6 3.5
Josh Childress 9 13.2 1.6 3.0 51.9 0.2 1.1 20.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.9 1.3 2.2 0.8 0.4 0.6 0.2 1.1 3.3


Rockets stats...


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Kevin Martin 20 35.8 7.2 16.5 43.6 2.5 6.8 36.3 4.1 4.6 90.1 0.5 2.9 3.3 2.7 1.7 0.9 0.1 2.0 21.0
Kyle Lowry 20 35.8 4.7 12.1 38.8 1.6 4.7 34.0 3.7 4.3 85.9 1.2 5.1 6.2 8.0 3.3 2.0 0.4 2.8 14.7
Luis Scola 22 30.1 6.4 13.4 47.8 0.0 0.1 0.0 1.8 2.4 75.0 1.7 3.9 5.6 1.7 2.8 0.3 0.2 3.0 14.6
Courtney Lee 14 24.3 3.9 8.6 45.5 1.0 3.0 33.3 0.9 1.0 85.7 0.3 1.8 2.1 1.4 1.0 1.3 0.4 1.4 9.7
Samuel Dalembert 22 25.0 3.5 6.5 53.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.6 1.8 87.5 3.4 5.5 8.9 0.5 1.5 0.6 2.2 2.6 8.6
Chase Budinger 19 20.5 3.3 7.2 45.6 1.2 3.2 37.7 0.7 0.8 81.3 0.7 2.6 3.3 1.0 0.7 0.4 0.1 1.0 8.4
Goran Dragic 22 20.0 3.0 6.5 45.5 0.6 2.1 28.3 1.4 1.7 81.1 0.3 1.5 1.8 3.7 1.5 0.7 0.1 2.0 7.9
Chandler Parsons 21 23.8 3.0 7.0 41.9 0.6 2.2 25.5 0.2 0.6 33.3 1.5 3.4 4.9 1.7 0.8 1.3 0.5 2.1 6.7
Patrick Patterson 20 20.0 3.1 6.5 48.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.3 50.0 1.5 1.9 3.4 0.6 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.7 6.4
Jordan Hill 20 16.3 2.4 4.6 51.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.8 1.2 62.5 1.7 4.1 5.8 0.4 1.0 0.3 0.8 2.1 5.5
Terrence Williams 9 16.4 1.9 4.7 40.5 0.8 1.8 43.8 0.4 1.1 40.0 0.2 2.3 2.6 0.8 0.8 0.3 0.1 1.2 5.0
Jonny Flynn 7 11.4 0.9 3.3 26.1 0.1 0.9 16.7 1.3 1.7 75.0 0.1 1.0 1.1 2.4 1.0 0.4 0.0 0.7 3.1
Jeff Adrien 7 6.6 0.9 1.9 46.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 1.4 60.0 0.7 1.1 1.9 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 1.3 2.6
Marcus Morris 3 5.7 0.7 3.3 20.0 0.0 1.3 0.0 0.3 0.7 50.0 0.7 0.0 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.7 1.7
Hasheem Thabeet 4 4.8 0.8 0.8 100.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.8 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.8 1.5

Suns vs Rockets coverage

The Dream Shake


Houston Rockets 99, Phoenix Suns 81 Like the Phoenix Suns, the Houston Rockets don’t get much notoriety. They lack a great deal of star power and aren’t on a hot streak. Even when they...

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