More photos » Bob Levey - AP
9 days ago: Phoenix Suns' Jason Richardson shoots over Houston Rockets' Kevin Martin in the first quarter during a NBA basketball game on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010, in Houston.(AP Photo/Bob Levey)
Holy crap, what a finish to this game! The Rockets would not go away, no matter how many times the Suns regained the seemingly insurmountable 5-6 point lead with less than a minute left.
Good golly, miss molly.
Phoenix's defense effort was there this game, but to no avail. After holding Houston to 43% shooting and 45 points in the first half, the Rockets exploded (err, matched a usual Suns opponent) by scoring 71 second-half points. 71 points in one half?!?!?! They had 31 assists on 49 made field goals. They had only 14 turnovers. They shot 49% for the game.
This is getting ridiculous. All the other team has to do is put its two biggest players on the floor and start a volleyball game. This apparently freaks out the Suns defense enough to crumble miserably, inside and out.
Luckily, Houston is struggling to win games even more than the Suns. They made just enough mistakes to lose.
Twice in the second half, the Suns allowed runs. The first time, the Rockets cut the lead to 2 measly points amid an array of techs and fouls and shot-making by Houston. But then the Suns closed the quarter on a big run to get the lead back to 14 at the end of the quarter.
And then the fourth quarter happened. The Rockets realized that size mattered.
Jordan Hill (14 and 10 in 22 minutes) and Brad Miller (12, 6 and 4 in 21 minutes) played well for Houston in place of the shorter Hayes and Scola. So did Courtney Lee (16 in 20). Houston did all it could, going big and trying to outscore and outrebound the Suns with their second unit. And it almost worked.
The rebounding effort was still atrocious, allowing Miller and Jordan Hill to make the Suns look like a team of fifth-graders by comparison whenever the ball was bouncing off the rim.
The Rockets had 18 more rebounds than the Suns.
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Christian Petersen - Getty Images
Will Steve Play? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Let's get to it!
The Suns need Hill, Childress and Dudley to shut down the perimeter and make jump shots harder to hit.
Expect the scrappier team to win this one.
Suns guard Steve Nash is reporting that he feels much better and is not experiencing any pain with his groin strain, opening a strong chance that he will play tonight at Houston.
The Suns staff will meet to discuss the possibility this afternoon. Nash is expected to go through his pregame routine tonight at Toyota Center before making a game-time decision, as he did in Miami on Wednesday when he played.
Another note in the link: Frye will play Scola initially, while Turkoglu takes Brad Miller.
Well, looks like he's playing...