Well, the Suns came close to securing their first win over the Warriors since that Stephen Jackson/Al Harrington trade a year ago, but close isn't good enough for a win. They had their chances, though. Amare Stoudemire almost had a three-point play with three seconds to go, but ended up with just a trip to the line where he bricked the first free throw. Monta Ellis returned the favor on the other end leaving the Suns an opening with 2.4 remaining, but Leandro Barbosa's three-pointer bounced off the rim and the game was over. Close but no cigar.
This was an up-and-down game where neither team was particularly successful at guarding the other. Ellis couldn't miss, Baron Davis "out-Nashed" Steve Nash, and Stephen Jackson hit timely threes to keep the Suns from gaining control. For whatever reason, this matchup just doesn't work for our guys right now. Still, a much closer game than the previous time, so maybe they'll break through in the next one. (Wow, that was painful to type).
A few quick notes before calling it a night:
- If Grant Hill keeps playing like he did tonight, I may officially rescind any and all objections to the Shaq trade. Or at least my objection to the part that required Shawn Marion's departure. How's this for a line in the boxscore?: 26 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, 11-of-18 shooting. Hill hustled, scrapped, and poured everything he had into this game like it was the NBA Finals. Amare owes him a beer after missing that free throw.
- Speaking of beer, Al Harrington gave the Suns a free two-points when he inadvertently tipped in a Suns miss trying to snare the rebound. He would have been buying rounds for everyone on his team if LB had nailed that three at the buzzer.
- Have I mentioned lately how much more I like D.J. Strawberry manning the backup point guard spot better than Marcus Banks? Or even LB for that matter. If the kid could shoot, we win this game (he was 1-of-8). But even without a shooting touch, there's something about having D.J. on the floor that just works. The ball keeps moving, and the Suns don't fall apart with Nash and Amare resting.
- I said a key to the game was to "feed the beast", but the beast has to stay on the floor. Amare's foul trouble mid-way through the second quarter didn't help. He still got a nice, fat double-double, though, with 29 points and 13 rebounds, and went 10-of-14 from the field. But that free throw... Amare, you're killing me.
- When I said Steve Nash got "out-Nashed" by Baron Davis, I didn't mean to imply that Nash stunk up the floor. Other than the seven turnovers, he had a nice line with 20 points, 12 assists and 7-of-13 from the field. He made some clutch plays down the stretch, and did his usual Nash things. He can't guard Monta Ellis, though. Not. at. all.
Up Next: The Suns return home to face the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow night. Or what's left of the Dallas Mavericks, if they manage to convince Devean George to change his mind. The NBA - where inexplicable
no-trade clauses happen trade restrictions happen. (It isn't a no-trade clause. It's a one-year contract/Bird rights rule).