Suns Down Kings With Another Defensive Gem: 104-88

Grant Hill with one of the Suns 9 blocked shots. Phoenix held the Kings to 34 points in the second half on 36% shooting in the win. (Photo by Max Simbron)

Who are those impostors in the Orange and Purple and what do they think they are doing playing "defense"?

After holding the Hawks to 30 points in the second half on Friday, the Suns repeated the feat tonight, limiting the Kings to 34 total points on 12 of 33 shooting. That's 36.4% for the mathematically challenged.

Add to that a 29-15 advantage on the boards, a 10 to 3 advantage in second chance points, and a 30 to 10 advantage in points in the paint and you might as well be watching the 2008 Boston Celtics.

And if you must know, it was Amare Stoudemire's 11 rebounds in the second half that led the way.

"I mean, Amare Stoudemire, he's a beast. He was coming in there, jumping over everybody, snatching rebounds and putting it back up. That's what hurt us. Good team like that we've got to do a better job getting those rebounds and leaving them to one stop like they did to us. We get that down it could have been a close game tonight," Tyreke Evans said about the Phoenix Suns rebounding prowess.

I know, we are talking about the Kings here but still, they are a big team that's 11th in the league in total rebounding rate and 3rd in offensive rebounding. The Suns had 20 offensive rebounds to their 9. That's impressive.

You know what else is impressive?

Steve Nash

Despite being a game-time decision due to back and lower abdominal pain he came out and dropped 17 assists on the Kings. Don't think he's all the way back though and in fact Coach Gentry is considering leaving him home for the road trip to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

Nash said the training staff was able to help him get some things loose before the game and he wanted to contribute but he's still struggling with the pain, "I'm not right. It's difficult to control myself, to go one way, stop and pull up. It's tender and I don't have a lot of body control so it's very hard to be accurate with my shot in that way."

Making the pain even worse for him was learning that Captain Canada's home Olympic Hockey Team was downed by the upstart Americans 5 to 3. When they announced the score during a stoppage in play, Nash made a face and did a double thumbs down and shook his head. He had previously predicted that, "the Yanks were going down."

After the game, he had this to say about the national disgrace suffered by the Canucks, "It's tough. There was a moment where I almost slapped someone in the front row because kept yelling it (the score) to me but we're worried about season ticket renewals so I held back."

Other notable players?

Jason Richardson busting out the 26 points was nice, as was Grant Hill's amazing defense and smooth jump shots.

Grant finished with 16 points (7/11), 6 rebounds, 2 steals and three blocks. Nice game from the Suns wings as well as from Channing Frye who didn't even attempt a three pointer and still finished with 12 points.

Frye was aggressive and, as a result, led the team with 7 free throw attempts.

Gentry credited the Suns reacting better to teams switching screens. He made a point of saying that the Suns did a good job getting Frye the ball when the Kings switched a point guard on to him. In some ways, I wonder if having Nash not feeling good about his shot forced the team to take advantage of the size mismatch in the post.

Defensively, the team mostly credited improved effort and focus but something Robin Lopez mentioned stood out to me, "That's all around having faith in each other. We feel that we don't have to put people on the line. We feel that the help is there."

Good defensive teams always talk about trusting each other and so to hear Robin mention that is a good sign for a team that might just be finding a way to finally improve their defensive performance. We'll see if keeps up and becomes a trend or if this is just a blip.

Next up, Thunder on Tuesday in OKC and then back Wednesday in Phoenix against the 76ers.

Nice pose, Jason. Well done.

Jrichdunk2_medium

  Post Game Audio:

Post Game Links:

Game Notes Taken In Real Time (and not edited or proofed so lay off)

1st Qtr 

  • Suns got to Robin in the post early. He missed the baby hook but looked solid. More please.
  • Suns double 'Reke early. Rotations good. Air ball from Casspi
  • Kings scoreless 3 minutes in. Defense??
  • Landry and Evans score to make my last bullet point meaningless
  • Nash looking pretty good
  • Landy has face up game too...damn
  • Kings playing solid D. Activity looking good for a team that played last night and kinda of sucks
  • Amare bulling his way through the paint - 8 points so far out of the Suns 20
  • Clark in the game with a nice aggressive more. Of course. He's always aggressive
  • And Clark finishes the quarter with an ill-advised jumper
  • 25-27 Kings.

2nd Qtr

  • Second unit starts with the back court press and finishes the defensive possession
  • Clark again thinks he's LeBron goes iso the second he touches the ball. Turnover
  • The Goran vs Beno battle again...always fun
  • Lou hitting the jump shot that Clark can't hit
  • Another kind of ugly game. No tacos again? What are Suns fans going to do?
  • Suns down 8 behind Udrih doing some fancy stuff. Like hitting shots. Crazy
  • Amare and Nash back in at about 6:30 mark
  • Not looking great but the Kings will find a way to lose this game
  • Nash sized up Evans on the baseline and went right by him and found JRich cutting
  • Suns making a run close it to 3 after a great hustle play from Robin
  • JRich with 17
  • Tyreke with the assist of the game as he passed the ball straight to the ref on the wing...sweet pass!!
  • Jason's feeling it
  • So much for the defensive slug fest
  • Robin answers Tyreke's assist with a whiff of his own straight into the first row
  • Udrih's 3 - damn him. 54-51 Kings

3rd Qtr

  • Kings shot 56% in the first half and beat the Suns in the paint 28-22 but Jason's three three's are keeping the Suns in it. At least the rebounding isn't bad. 21-20 Kings
  • Amare is just off tonight. Missing everything. He's now 4-9 with only 9 points and 3 rebounds. Guess the post no-trade bounce is over
  • Good start to the quarter. Suns on a 10-4 run. Nash with 13 assists already. That's 13 assists on 25 total Suns field goals
  • Kings switching everything but the Suns have seen enough of that now
  • Nash scored or assisted on 17 of 27 buckets....and he's hurt
  • Amare is pissed over that last foul call. That might have woke him up
  • Lopez!!! Great OReb and put back! I LOVE  YOU ROBIN
  • Amare now has 10 rebounds
  • 11 rebounds
  • Suns bench needs to do a solid job to start the fourth and this game will be over
  • Robin with the great offensive rebound but then he jacks up a quick fade away as if the clock was running out. It wasn't. To make it worse, he was so out of position that his miss turned into a fast break for the Kings
  • 75-69 Suns. Should be 77-69 but Dragic and Dudley both missed tip ins so it is not 77-69. It is 75-69

4th Qtr

  • Suns held the Kings to 15 points in the 3rd quarter. Another solid defensive effort should do it
  • Amare playing well should do it
  • If Steve and come back in rested and continue to play well, that should do it
  • Lets do it!
  • FRYE!!! Curling off the screen getting to the hoop. The man plays like a 6'11" two guard without the quickness
  • Great fast break running by Goran. Super bounce pass to Grant in transition
  • Frye w/ the nice turn around. He should be a two guard
  • Suns D has been great
  • Suns on a 7-0 run to start the quarter. That will do it
  • Suns just imposing their will. Beating up the Kings. Taking it to them. Putting them on their heals. Winning
  • I could care less about hockey but how awesome is that the USA beat Canada!!
  • Grant has been a stud in this game on the defensive end. 3 blocks and 2 steals and 5 rebounds. Yum
  • Nash coming back in at the 5:58 mark with a 10 point lead. He has 16 assists. If he gets 20 he breaks Kevin Johnson's record for the most 20 assist games (seven)
  • Kings cut it to 8 on 'Reke's great play
  • Beno getting hot...again
  • Great offensive rebound from Amare and put back. He's really come through in the second half
  • No three's from Frye and he still has a big game. 12 points, 5 reb and great activity on D
  • Tacos thanks to Jason's 3.
  • Nice effort in the second half. Held the Kings to 34 points 
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