Tonight, the Phoenix Suns took on the New Jersey Nets without both of their aging star players, Steve Nash and Grant Hill, who were both out with sore legs. The Suns played well overall without their two starting vets, but in the end they fell short as they lost their third straight game with a score of 110-103
Ronnie Price and Shannon Brown got the start tonight in the place of Nash and Hill, and both players performed fairly well overall. The Suns kept the game close in the first half but struggled to find a player offensively who was going to take the game over for their team.
In the second half, Gortat started out well and Ronnie Price also got extremely hot in the 3rd quarter, racking up 12 points and 5 assists in a short period of time. However, the offensive efficiency didn't last long before the Suns began missing shots while Deron Williams and Marshon Brooks lit up the scoreboard from all over the court and pulled the Nets ahead. The Suns made a nice run in the 4th quarter to pull within three points, but the Nets answered back with a three point dagger from Anthony Marrow with about a minute left to seal the deal.
Read on after the jump for more about this game, and also what's ahead for the Suns.
For the Nets, the story of the game was Deron Williams, who scored a whopping 35 points off a ridiculous six of eight three-point shooting to go along with a very Nash-esque 14 assists. Ronnie Price appeared to play fairly good defense against him, but he was simply too good to be stopped tonight.
The makeshift starting unit of the Suns played well tonight with all players scoring in double figures. Marcin Gortat led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Channing Frye had 15 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds, Ronnie Price had 18 points, 8 assists, Jared Dudley had 18 points and 4 rebounds, and Shannon Brown contributed with 13 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds.
But ultimately, it wasn't enough as the Nets were able to seemingly score at will on the Suns. In a game without Nash and Hill, one would expect the Suns to struggle offensively. But instead the Suns played pretty well in that respect, all things considered, yet struggled to stop the Nets on defense. The Suns just can't seem to find consistency in their play. On a night when they really needed to step up their defense to keep the Nets in check they just couldn't do it.
The Suns will now start their brutal five-game road trip starting Sunday against San Antonio, and then playing in Chicago, New York, Boston, and Dallas over the next seven days. None of these games will be easy, and after already losing three straight games, one has to wonder how the psyche of this team will hold up if they continue their losing streak...which is a distinct possibility given the level of competition they will be facing.
Hang in there Suns fans...The road ahead could get bumpy for awhile
No Nash or Hill tonight, Price and Brown getting the start in their place
Price looking active to start the game
Brown being Brown…Good play followed up by a poor one. Ugh
Michael Redd off to a slower start tonight, missed his first two shots off the bench
Suns lead 25-22 at the end of the first quarter. Nets 14rbs (6 offensive), Suns 9rbs (3 offensive). Suns shooting 48% and the Nets shooting 38%.
Telfair came in to start the 2nd quarter and gave the Suns improved offense and good passing.
Suns doing better with rebounding now and are getting some offensive rebounds of their own as well.
Nets lead 54-51 at the half. Suns shooting 48%, Nets shooting 49%. Suns 16rbs (6 offensive), Nets 22rbs (7 offensive)
Deron Williams has 13pts and 8ast. Humphries with 10pts 5rbs.
Suns are getting a lot of contributions across the board, but nobody is really stepping up to take this game over yet.
Channing Frye leading the Suns in scoring with 10pts, and also ties a team high with 3rbs. Suns will need both of those numbers to go up for someone in the second half if they are going to get this win.
Gortat making his presence known, scoring the first two baskets to start the third quarter assisted by Price.
Ronnie Price comes out on FIRE to start the second half…Now with 13pts and 7 assists after the first 6 minutes of the 3rd quarter
After the Suns had briefly retaken the lead, Marshon Brooks hits a three and then Deron Williams comes back with two more three pointers to pull the Nets back ahead by 6.
Deron Williams nails another 3…Suns need to get on him fast
Nets now leading 88-82 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Gortat now leading the Suns in scoring and rebounding with 18 points to go along with his 8 boards.
Telfair not nearly as effective to start the 4th quarter. Struggling to run the offense.
This is yet another game where Markieff Morris looks like he's struggling. The Suns could really use him right now
Marshon Brooks is also killing the Suns. He now has 18points as well.
Ronnie Price now back in with just over half of the quarter left to play.
Gortat now has 20 points and 10 rebounds…He’s done his job tonight.
The Suns are starting to close the gap late in the 4th, do they have one more run left in them?
Channing Frye doing his best impression of Steve Nash with 7 assists to go along with his 15 points and 5 rebounds!
Anthony Morrow with the 3 point dagger to extend the Nets lead to 107-99 with about one minute left…that should do it.
Nets win 110-103
This is it. The last home game before a five game road trip against some very tough competition. If the Suns are going to get themselves in some kind of rhythm it has to start tonight.
Let's get this win!
*Note: Word is that Michael Redd may start tonight according to Paul Coro of the AZ Republic
And now this:
Supposedly Nash has a sore leg and Hill is still dealing with his sore right knee
Well, let's hope for the best...