An as-it-happens take on the Suns/Warriors game tonight from a fan's point of view. Just refresh your screen to see the latest entries, both honest and humorous. Put in your own comments, and I'll definitely take the time to refer to them during the game.
Preview: Suns coming off an ugly defensive win. Tonight should be very different against the Warriors, who like to run even more than the Suns, albeit less efficiently. Warriors have the third-worst record in the league. Suns should win, especially against the Warriors' shorthanded frontline. Look for Stoudemire to have a big night. Also look for Monta Ellis and/or Stephen Curry to explode as well.
11:40 - I like the Suns posting up Ellis with J-Rich. Ellis is a midget of two-guard. Maggette responds. Fellow Dukee Hill guarding him. 2-2.
10:26 - Lopez is big as it is, but against this diminished Warriors team he looks ginormous. Suns off to a quick 6-2 start. They look relieved being able to run after last night.
9:30 - Some guy named Chris Hunter looks like Amare Stoudemire early on. Please, no no-namers having career nights, Suns.
8:30 - No way I can type fast enough. Shooting shooting shooting. J-Rich breaks up a mini-run by GS with a three, and Amare at the line...trying to tie the game. Nash being way too generous with turnovers early.
Amare quote by Suns R Us. "What I've achieved now is something that I always figured I would as a kid. I've had that type of determination since I was a youngster playing around the playgrounds, getting dirty after school." What, you dreamt you'd underachieve until your 9th year in the league? Really?
7:45 - Amare making GS commit a slew of fouls. All night. Except Chris Hunter is at least matching Amare right now. Who knew who Chris Hunter was before tonight? Your'e lying if you say yes. He'd be on TNT's "Who he play for?" Another Suns turnover. Ugh.
Beavis 25 picking J-Rich for game MVP 'cause of the "former team factor." Very possible. It should be Amare given the mismatches inside, but J-Rich probably feels like a millionaire in Vegas right now.
6:45 - Hunter with the AND-1 flush on Lopez. Warriors up 16-14. Hunter played in Belgium...TV guys don't even have film on him. Why does this only happen against Phoenix? Meanwhile Lopez hits a jumper to tie it up. Tonight is an unexpected night on both ends.
5:46 - J-Rich cherry-picks against his former club, and gets the predictable Nash pass for the dunk and the 2-point lead. Nellie calls timeout to remind his team this is nothing new. Meanwhile, out-of-nowhere man Hunter appears injured. The Suns can only hope...not something they were counting on hoping before tip-off.
5:36 - Monta Ellis just posted up J-Rich and drew the foul. That is wrong on so many levels. Monta is not a post-up player. J-Rich is so much bigger. How can J-Rich let this happen? Doesn't he have pride? Isn't he saying to himself, "Buddy, I do that to you."?
5:23 - Amare picks up his second foul. Unbelievable. How can he get in foul trouble on the offensive end? Oh wait, it's Amare Stoudemire. This is the guy who fouls out on the offensive end in playoff games. Forget I asked.
4:42 - Grant Hill takes real charges. Not Ginobili-charges. Real charges. Wouldn't have had to do it if Frye didn't bite on the fake. That didn't stop him from shooting right away next trip down the floor though. J-Rich hits a three, Suns up 21-19. J-Rich with 10 pts already. Good pick, Beavis.
3:04 - That drifting elbow jumper by Nash is gorgeous. Every time, you know it's coming, but the opposing team can't do anything about it, and you're shocked if it doesn't go in. 27-23, Suns.
1:28 - Ellis and Curry are a combined 1-of-9 from the field, but the Warriors are up one. How, you ask? Two no-namers Chris Hunter and Anthony Tolliver combining for 16 points in the quarter, that's how. I swear, only against the Suns. Unbelievable. If Taylor Griffin were on the Warriors, he'd get 20 against us.
End 1st - Some guy from the Northwest Academy of I Don't Know What just got a three-point play. I'm already fed up with the Golden State No-Namers. J-rich is the only guy playing like he wants this game, while Nash seems determined to give the Warriors as many extra possessions as possible. Where's the Slovenian? Oh, and the Suns are up, 33-31.
11:44 - The guy from Northwest Academy blah blah blah is called Reggie Williams. He just hit a jumper in one stroke, while the Suns need four chances to...miss. Tie game.
9:45 - Looking back I realize I'm being really negative. Maybe it's because after beating the Blazers and Jazz, we should be destroying the third-worst team in the league. As I say that, Tolliver scores again, while Frye scores again. Then Curry responds. Suns up 38-37.
9:09 - Dragic with the teasing cross-over and step-back three. Golden State responds of course. I picked the wrong game to do a fast-typing in-game blog. Warriors up 42-41. Great tutorial on how not to play defense.
*You know what I love about watching games on NBA LeaguePass Broadband or ESPN 360? Every now and then they go back to the commentators, who don't realize they're already back on the air. Off-the-air conversations are very entertaining.
7:41 - Reggie Williams hits again, Warriors up 46-41. Where is the Suns pride? Don't they care they're getting embarrassed by a team of D-Leaguers that won't sniff the playoffs? Don't they know every game from now on is critical for home-court, especially now that OKC lost again? This lack of killer instinct is killing me.
6:48 - Barbosa banks a three. That's how rusty he is. Suns down three.
6:09 - Monta at the stripe, but 0-for-6 from the field... but the Warriors lead by 5. Barbosa has already over-dribbled twice. I've never liked that part of his game, nor his occasionally horrid shot selection.
5:54 - Timeout. GS still up 50-45. Know what I love about replays of Lebron's greatest moments' commercials? Half of them consist of uncalled traveling violations. Is the NBA trying to showcase how incompetent their refs are? Is it reverse and perverse promoting for new refs? If so, I qualify, 'cause I could (and would) make that call every time.
5:44 - Stoudemire finally makes a clean, powerful move for the easy deuce..then he follows that up by letting Tolliver get an o-board over him. Inexcusable. Luckily GS misses and Dragic dices and dishes to Dudley. Suns only down 1. Nevermind, Williams just dunked, and then Stoudemire turns it over, and Ellis gets an AND-1. Just like that, the Warriors are up by 6. I'm beside myself.
3:40 - Nash is back in and looks much more composed, hitting his patented pull-up three. Ellis responds with a layup, and Amare responds to that with another bunny.
2:33 - No-namer #4 CJ Watson hits a jumper. I'm scared for when Curry gets hot, 'cause he will get hot. Amare gets the AND-1. According to Tom Leander, he's second in the league in AND-1's to Lebron. That's mark of toughness. That makes me feel better about Amare. Timeout, and both teams will eclipse 60 pts before halftime.
1:57 - J-Rich tries to convert the alley-oop instead of coming down, fails, but is bailed out by a call the Warriors' fans are righteously outraged over. I love this game.
0:32 - At least Anthony Tolliver can't perform a good lob-pass, otherwise I'd really be worried.
0:16 - Monta fouls J-Rich on the three...the Suns are the ones playing ugly ball tonight. If they win, great. But if they lose this game, I'll lose the good vibe I got after the wins versus Utah and Portland.
End 1st Half - Despite all my griping, the Suns are up 65-62...but that is their biggest lead of the game. I know the Suns are playing the second game of a back-to-back. I know it was a home-away back-to-back. But it's the Golden State Warriors. They're the third-worst team in the NBA. Point made.
Amare seemed to finally realize at the end of the 2nd quarter that he was physically superior on the offensive end. Too bad he didn't do that on the defensive end, where he continually let Anthony Tolliver outwork him on the glass. I know countless Suns fans have said this, but if you could combine Amare's talent on offense with Lou Amundson's hustle on defense, you'd have one of the best power forwards of all time...maybe the best. Seriously.
Stephen Curry hasn't gone off yet, but Ellis started to towards the end of the half. Is this the Warriors' best punch, or is that yet to come. Do I want to know the answer?
BrightSideoftheSuns member Beavis is spot on with his MVP J-Rich. 20 pts at halftime? Of course, even if he scores 50, if the Warriors win because Monta Ellis is posting him up, I'll give him LVP, as in Least Valuable Player.
10:37 - Amare is now 5-for-5 from the field. You expect that. Chris Hunter is 4-for-4. A year ago, you don't even expect to see him in the NBA. Maggette follows a Stoudemire bunny with a couple fts. Suns up 69-66.
9:51 - Is there a stat for most missed dunks this season? Where does Robin Lopez rank? Top 5? Top 3? And Hill picks up his second charge. I know charges are legal, but I hate how little teams use them to make up for being less tough. I know that's hypocrisy from a Suns' fan, but there it is.
8:24 - There you go, Robin. Just lay it in, don't dunk it. Tolliver hits a three, and Lopez misses another dunk. Suns up 77-75.
6:55 - It's official. Instead of the Suns pounding the Warriors, the Warriors are irritiating the Suns with pesky little man defense. Hill just got stripped on the block, and J-Rich picks up the foul in transition. Same score. I'm waiting for Stoudemire to enforce his will, or Nash, or someone besides Richardson, 'cause he'll just encourage the Warriors, instead of depressing them. Timeout Phoenix.
6:44 - Stoudemire got switched into guarding Ellis. You guess what happened. Tie game.
5:30 - J-Rich stifles the awe-effect from a Curry beauty by nailing a three. Lopez with a hard foul. I like that. Shows some "i'm sick of this" attitude, you know?
5:00 - You know, Stoudemire is getting to be a good passer out of the double-team. Twice he's found someone wide open under the hoop. Of course, reps take a while to change - Hill wasn't expecting the pass, and luckily got another chance and some free throws. Suns up 84-81.
4:17 - Tolliver got a legit veteran call from an official, who said Frye fouled him on the fadeaway. Frye's fourth foul in ten minutes of PT. Meanwhile J-Rich's miss robs Amare of a good assist. Oh, and Tolliver goes over Frye for the follow dunk. He's got 20, and I've got spasms.
3:03 - Swell of the crowd, crispness of the curl...you just knew Curry would hit that three. He lives for those in-game moments (I know, as opposed to those "out-of-game" moments). Stoudemire responds with a powerful drive and deuce. 91-90 with just under three minutes left. Timeout.
* Scott Williams is a bad color commentator. Period. (Example: "Ty Evans is like a bull in a china shop." He's not clumsy, Scott. He's not accident-prone.)
2:00 - Frye hits the three, Suns up 94-90. Slovenian gets the nice assist. I like the Slovenian. More so every game.
0:57 - Another veteran call for Tolliver; he drives, Dragic brushes his shoelace, and gets called for the foul. Tolliver's undeserved fts tie up the game at 94 apiece.
0:33 - Amare with the drive and dish for the three? Wow. Speaking of wow, Tolliver gets another bogus call. You know, one of those horribly missed shots, followed by an outraged yell/squeal of outrage which gets the late whistle. Suns up 97-95.
End 3rd - Ok, J-Rich. You cannot, I repeat, cannot just lay off of Ellis with the clock winding down, giving him the wide open three. Especially after you just nailed a shot in his mug on the other end. J-Rich is one of those enormously talented players who needs to get owned on the playground a few times to awaken his competitive edge. At least, that's how I hope he'd respond.
Suns playing better, but it doesn't matter, cause they've already let the Warriors get in a groove. Now it's a nail-biter, with the Suns holding a 99-98 "lead" entering the fourth. This is not how a playoff team should be performing against a cellar-dwellar.
11:39 - Reggie Williams just went coast-to-coast, and Tolliver just stuffed Grant Hill. It's the No-Name All-Star Game.
10:59 - Dragic hits the three. I love the Slovenian. The Suns' future is in safe in his hands. I know people are higher on Lopez, but don't you feel better saying the Suns' future is safe in Dragic's hands instead of Lopez's hands? I mean, Dragic obviously has better hands.
10:21 - Dudley and Dragic's defense is ruined by Scott Williams' announcing. ("DUD-ley and DRA-gic playing DE-fense)
9:28 - Dudley hits the three off the pass from...guess who...THE SLOVENIAN. Warriors' fans are complaining about our no-namers now. While I gush about the Slovenian, GS scores four in a row and takes a 106-105 lead.
8:29 - Same score, Frye picks up his fifth foul. That's a shame, 'cause he's shooting well. WIERD STAT: As of right now, every starter has exactly six rebounds. A yahtzee of six rebounds. It's a timeout, ok? I'm allowed to notice stuff like this.
*Some fans you just shouldn't show on the Jumbotron. If you watched the game, you know what I'm talking about.
8:05 - Hill is just off his offensive game tonight. He's missing bunnies, free throws...depressing when that happens to such a steady contributor. Still, on an off night, he still gives you 11, seven and three. I love it.
7:30 - Stoudemire with the aggressive putback, tied at 108 apiece. Time for Stoudemire to make another case for his max contract.
6:23 - Dragic misses the three, Reggie Williams hits the jumper, and Nash is going to check in now. Stoudemire responds, making it a 112-110 GS lead. I'm getting nervous...Dragic turns it over and Ellis slams it. 114-110. Ugh.
5:16 - Same score. Timeout Suns. Look, the deficit isn't big, but to make up a deficit, you have to make stops. The Warriors have already scored 114 points. I'm reasonably nervous. Hopefully Tolliver (25 points) will come to earth, or Ellis will get content shooting from outside. Where's the defense that got the win against Portland? My thoughts are frantic and everywhere, if you couldn't tell.
5:09 - That's right, Amare. Go to the line. Stop the Warriors' momentum. Let your defense get set. I can't believe I'm encouraging the Suns to slow the game down, but that's the kind of night it's been. 114-112 GS
4:32 - Thank you Nash, for instilling some normalcy with your patented fade-away 45-degree-to-the-floor jumper. Williams scores, and Stoudemire responds, tying it up at 116-116 with under 4 minutes left. Then Reggie Williams hits a three?! Where is the pride?
3:28 - J-Rich hits the long three. Think he doesn't want this game? Then Williams hits another three. I can handle this from guys like Kobe, Lebron or Wade, but not from No-Namer Williams. Meanwhile Amare levels someone going to the hoop. Good.
2:33 - OH-MY-GOODNESS!!! Anthony Tolliver (I think... Amare was so on top of him it was hard to tell) just became Amare's best poster material. Maybe better than Olowokandi. I'm not sure. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm overjoyed. I'm just still not over it. Timeout Golden State to calm everyone's blood, and Amare due to go to the line to tie the game.
Ok, it was over Tolliver. That's even better. That had to feel good for Amare to do that. It felt good just watching that. Amare ties the game, then rips down a rebound dramatically next trip down the floor.
1:56 - Amare scores like a man underneath. 124-122 Phoenix, and the Warriors miss. Game-changing dunk. Franchise-player worthy.
1:30 - Amare hits the jumper from behind the backboard. 126-122. I've never, repeat, never seen Amare like this in crunch-time. This is the real deal. This is "I'm done with you hanging around." This is "I'm stopping you right now, and then stomping on your throat and spleen for good measure." This is what I've wanted to see since 2005. Thank you...for one night, at least. 34 points. Timeout, Golden State.
1:19 - GS turnover. Thank you, Warriors, for finally showing up.
1:00 - Nash turnover. Amare is being praised, Nash criticized in crunch-time. I'm in shock. And that was before Nash just missed a free throw. Makes the second. 127-122.
0:37 - Reggie Williams gets an easy layup to pull GS within three. Unbelievable. It's not over, y'all. Scott Williams is talking it is.Somebody take his mic away, like, two hours ago.
0:33 - See Scott? See?! Hill just missed both free throws. Thank the basketball gods that Stoudemire got the offensive board. Hill and Nash are failing in crunchtime, while Amare is thriving. Would you have bet on that? No you wouldn't have.Don't even act like you've considered it. Amare hits the free throws. 129-124, Suns.
0:26 - You know, Jason Richardson has an issue with guarding three-point shooters in crunch-time. Either he misses the rotation and leaves a sniper wide open, or he (in this case) fouls Monta Ellis, who fortunately misses the first of three. 129-126, Suns. Sorry, Beavis, but J-Rich just los whatever chance he had left of getting game MVP honors from me (ok, he had already lost out to Amare. Sorry, buddy.)
0:11 - My heart almost shriveled up, died, and leapt out of my throat at the same time. Hill missed both free throws AGAIN. Luckily, Ellis missed the wide-open three (Where was J-Rich?! That's his man!). Dudley gets the board, makes the fts, and gives the Suns (and me) a chance to breathe. GS timeout.
* The most impressive part of Amare's crunch time heroics? Nash wasn't involved. He wasn't dependent on Nash at all. It was all Amare on the block. That is really proof Amare can be a franchise player.
0:08 - Ellis hits a three, refusing to allow peace amongst Suns fans. Nash is fouled, possibly before the inbounds, but they let it go.
NASH MISSES THE SECOND FT!
0:04 - Dudley commits the foul on Curry before he shoots the three. J-Rich would never have done that. Will this game never end?
I want to laugh, but I'm afraid I'll throw up. After making the first ft, Ellis tried to miss the second, but instead banked it in. Don Nelson's expression was classic. Suns timeout. GS has no more timeouts. At the rate the Suns are shooting free throws (Nash 2-for-4, Hill 0-for-4 in crunch time), I'm nowhere near feeling comforted.
0:03.5 - Hill's only inbound target was Stoudemire. I'm comforted now. As long as it's not Nash or Hill. How screwed up is this?
STOUDEMIRE MISSED THE FIRST! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!
End Game - Suns 133, Warriors 131
Free throw practice. Lots of it. In fact, the Suns have three days off, so just take one whole day to do it. Nash, Hill and Stoudemire went a combined 3-for-10 from the stripe in the final minute. That game should've been iced, not scalding hot with seconds left.
But, the Suns win. Margins of victory don't matter in the standings. They just show that the Suns won, and the Thunder and Mavericks lost, although the Jazz and Spurs won. If the Hornets can be in the West, why can't the Suns be in the East?
Amare just earned major points with me tonight, which I'm sure is a comfort and compliment to him. He was the man, tonight, and he didn't need Nash to walk him into the role. I hope we see that more often, especially int eh playoffs. He is unstoppable now, and he both knows it and wants it.
K, I'm emotionally done for the night. This is Matt Petersen, from Planet Orange, signing off.