Dear Steve Kerr and Robert Sarver:
Please pay Amare MAX Stoudemire and be done with it.
Thanks, Wil Cantrell
35 year Suns Fan and BSOTS Blogger
Well so much for the Suns defense, my hopes for Robin Lopez dominance, and some court time for Leandro Barbosa. The Suns slugged it out with the D-League Warriors for every second of 4 quarters en route to a 133-131 victory at Oracle Arena.
It's not every day an NBA team commits 22 turnovers and still wins the game. The Suns did that, and they also out-rebounded the Warriors 50-35, shot better-54% to 50% from the field and 57% to 33% from beyond the arc. Still, the Warriors wouldn't go away. Anthony Tolliver played 47 minutes and dropped in 25/12/5, Monta Ellis went for 30, and some D-Leaguer, Reggie Williams scored 29 points in 33 minutes of action.
While we can criticize the Suns for their pourous defense, we can also credit them with running alongside the Warriors, and keeping the game close until Amare was ready to turn it on in the 4th.
While MAX struggled through early foul trouble, Jason Richardson and Steve Nash kept the Suns afloat early on. Jason scored 15 in the opening quarter as the Suns committed 9 turnovers resulting in 12 Golden State points, thereby nullifying 67% shooting.
In the second, Amare returned and was promptly double teamed by the Warriors. Steve Nash ended the half with 7 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds while Jason Richardson finished with 20 points. While the Suns were shooting 58% from the field and 64% from three point range (7-11) they were only up 65-62, as 13 first half turnovers resulted in 19 Warrior points.
In the 3rd, Anthony Tolliver dropped in 12 points, while J-Rich answered with 11 of his own. The Suns clung to a 99-98 lead entering the 4th. Both teams took turns with the lead until about 3 minutes left when a certain someone did a certain something to another certain someone.
And then, with the suns down 122-119 with 3 minutes to go, this happened:
After an Anthony Morrow miss, MAX went back to work, with a drive for two. Amare went for another two after Stephen Curry bricked and the Suns went up 126-122 with 1.30 left. But it wasn't over. Not even close. The Suns defense forced a Reggie Williams backcourt violation. Steve Nash then attempted a lob feed to Amare but threw it away. Stephen Curry air balled a three which led to Steve Nash drawing a foul on C.J. Watson. Nash missed the first (what????) and buried the second to put the Suns up 127-122 with 44 seconds remaining.
A Reggie Williams layup cut the lead to 3 with 37 seconds left. In the ensuing possession, Grant Hill was fouled. While most of us exhaled a sigh of relief and began thinking about what an insane victory this was, Hill had other ideas, missing two free tosses. But MAX was there on the second miss for the rebound and was promptly fouled by Tolliver. Amare buried both free throws and the Suns led 129-124 with 31 ticks left on the clock.
Monta Ellis attempted a three and was fouled in the act by Jason Richardson. Ellis converted 2 of 3 to cut the lead to 129-126 with 26 seconds left. These 26 seconds would prove to be the longest of a Suns fan's life. Another Williams foul sent Grant Hill to the line for two. Grant, bless his 37 year old soul, bricked both which led to an Ellis miss from beyond the arc. Jared Dudley grabbed the rebound and was promptly fouled.
After Dudley sunk both free throws, the Suns seemed to have the victory in hand, with a 131-126 lead and 11 seconds left. Were you all ready to turn the game off, comfortable that nothing worse could happen to our beloved Suns?
Monta Ellis drained a 3 to pull within 2 with 8 seconds left. Stephen Curry then fouled Steve Nash. Game over, yes? Not really. Nash made the first and missed the second for a 132-129 lead with 8 seconds left.
Mont Ellis received the inbound and streaked down the court before Jared Dudley (he of the high basketball IQ) fouled Ellis to stop the possibility of a 3. Ellis drained the first and apparently attempted to miss the second but banked it in. The Suns called a TO with 4 seconds left, up 132-131.
Were you hitting the bottle? Biting your nails? Kicking the dog? Cursing David Stern?
MAX drew a C.J. Watson foul and went to the line for two. It could have been over right then and there. But MAX went un-MAX-like and missed the first before making the second free toss, leaving the Warriors with 3 ticks left. Monta Ellis tossed up a 44-foot brick...BALLGAME.
- MAX went for 37 points and 8 rebounds (ahem, pay the man)
- J-Rich 34/6/4 and 5-8 from three point range
- Stevie Nash dropped 12/12/7 and a nice +15
- Dudz went for 14 and 6
- Channing Frye anchored the bench with 11 points, 5 boards and 3-3 from beyond the arc
- Dragon Dragic scored 6, dished 6 dimes and was 2-3 from three point land
"We never could get any separation from them...we were always running on makes. We're lucky to win the game. Coming in on the second game of a back-to-back and playing the complete opposite type of team we played last night (Portland), we'll take it."
"I was like, 'Steve, missing free throws? This can't be happening to us...'"
Don "Jack & Coke" Nelson:
"They don't have bad games (the D-Leaguers) they play every game like it's a playoff game."
This was not a game for those with an anxiety or anger management condition. It's another reason why they play the game. The match-ups on paper mean nothing. This is the NBA, and on any given night nearly any team can win (Even the Nets). Give credit to the Warriors, who had nothing to play for, came out and pushed the Suns for 48 minutes. Reggie Williams can play. Anthony Tolliver can play. Monta Ellis, while not really a three point shooter made an amazing clutch 3 to push the Suns to the brink of defeat. Stephen Curry can flat ball, even though his box score didn't look that hot, this kid is going to be great for a long time. Even that guy Chris Hunter looked good tonight.
I'm not going to criticize Robin Lopez for his meager 13 minutes and -3. This was a run and gun small ball game. The big boys cannot often hang in this type of matchup. And remember my friends, Alvin Gentry warned us long ago, RobLo would be a roller coaster this season.
Next Up: The NY D'Antonistaches, Friday in PHX
Rest up my friends. It should be a challenge.