Ah, that was nice. The cool satisfaction of a great victory...well, that would have been my line if the game had ended in 3rd qtr with the Suns up by 20.
As it was, the Suns had to hang on for a 106-98 win after giving up 37 points in the 4th which equaled the total Lakers output for the combined 2nd and 3rd quarters. Yes, they scored 37 points in the middle 24 minutes and then another 37 in the final 12. Not exactly a stellar effort for all 48.
Of course, any win against the hated Lakers is a good thing but clearly this one left something to be desired. Like a dominating beat down blow out that we should have inflicted against a lame LA team that played poorly. I guess when your toughest player is the kicker then that's what you get...
To be fair, it certainly was a no win situation from the start. A loss would have lead to mass Harry Carry in Suns-land (that's where you pick up the Gorilla and stab him in the guts) and a win - as the Chuckster reminded us in his first big blasts of hot air - was the equivalent of kissing your sister. Or kissing Andrew Bynum's sister's knee. Or beating the Spurs without Tony Parker. Whatever.
The only thing that would have really helped would have been a dominate blow out victory. But that was not to be and instead the story line in Phx is about how the Suns almost blew it and in LA about how the Lakers almost pulled it out despite Bynum's wandering kneecap and in the national media about how Andy Garcia's season tickets are worse then Penny Marshal's.
But since this is the Bright Side of the Sun let's hit the highlights for the good guys:
- Suns started the game playing GREAT active D with 7 blocks in the first 12 minutes and holding the Lakers to an overall 38% FG. Take that Van "the Sun's don't protect the rim" Gundy!
- Nash was only 5 of 15 but hit a key 3 late and of course had a rare Double Benjamin (20 dimes)
- Amare was a monster in the first half and had one of the best dunks of the year. His D was also solid. When he played. Maybe the bright side of his silly foul trouble was that he only logged 26 minutes which is good because he will be nice and fresh against Al Jefferson tomorrow night. He was obviously saving himself for the mighty T-wolves who own us this year. Right?
- The other guys stepped it up offensively and I think this is really the key to getting wins in the playoffs and this was kind of like a playoff game (minus Grant Hill and Bynum's knee cap). Bell, LB, Diaw and Marion all shot well leading to a solid 52% FG and 50% from 3.
TexSun lobbied hard for her boy Trix and I guess its hard to argue with 57% shooting with 20 points, 16 rebounds, and some great D on Luke Walton which hopefully was felt somewhere by his idiot father.
But since I have the wheel tonight I am going Full French (google that one if you are over 18) and giving the nod to Boris. Le Diaw shot 69% and had himself 19 points, 6 boards and 5 dimes-which is a
Quarter Half Benjamin for those keeping up. Most importantly he hit pretty much every open shot including the last one to nail the game shut. And let's not foget that he lead the Suns with a +18. Whatever the heck that means.
Runner Up goes to Kwame "Baby Hands" Brown. Every time he touched the ball I found my chants of "Kwame! Kwame!" rewarded with a missed dunk, dropped ball or botched pass quickly followed by Paper Clip Center boo's. Kwame Brown is obviously the Sun's key to beating the Lakers.
Oh, and the Suns regain the top spot in the West. But seriously, with 5 teams each at 12 loses this thing is basically a dead heat so let's not break out the victory Strawberry's just yet.
Let's see if the Lakers fall back without - say it with me now - The GREAT ANDREW BYNUM. Or will the Spurs implode after getting crushed by the Cavs? Will the Mav's Dirk it? Who knows. It should be a fun ride though.