Bring on the Blazers!!!!!!!!!!!
The Phoenix Suns defense stifled the Utah Jazz for an improbable victory on Utah's home court 100-86. In dong so, the Suns clinched the third seed in the Western Conference and will open up the playoffs at home versus the Portland Trailblazers
It was a fitting end to the regular season for the Suns, a team considered to be soft on the defensive end. The soft Suns held the league leading shooters to 37% and forced 19 Jazz turnovers. With 6 minutes left to go before the half, the Suns found themselves up 45-28. A mini 7-2 Jazz run brought the Suns lead to 13 points, but Channing Frye and Grant Hill hit consecutive 3's to close the half with up 59-42.
In the 3rd quarter it was more of the same, as the Suns picked apart the Jazz zone, and limited the Jazz to 5-16 from the field. The Suns used 3's by Jason Richardson and Channing Frye while Steve Nash dropped in 3 assists as the Suns went up by as many as 23 points against, a struggling, tired, mistake-prone Jazz squad.
The Suns played the 4th quarter with Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire on the bench while the Suns second unit faced 4 of the 5 Jazz starters. With 5 minutes left and the Suns up 15, Stoudemire returned to the floor. But Nash had earned the rest of the night off. With 3 mts left and the Suns up 19, Jerry Sloan brought out the scrubs....BALL GAME
- Amare Stoudemire: 20 points, 7 rebounds
- Channing Frye 15 points 6 rebounds, 2 blocked shots
- Steve Nash 5 points 11 assists in 3 quarters of play
- Goran Dragic 12 points off the bench
- Jared Dudley 11 points, 6 rebounds off the bench
- Louis "Loutah" Amundson: 4 points, 4 blocks, 5 rebounds, and one pony tail (That's right Jerry Sloan, a pony tail!)
- The Suns forced 19 Utah turnovers, blocked 10 shots, and limited the Jazz to 37% FG's.
- The Suns bench outscored the Jazz 50-13.
- The Suns held the Jazz starters not named Okur to 16-50 from the field
- Deron Williams went 6 and 5 (6 assists and 5 turnovers) and hoisted up 17 shots en route to 24 points.
Everyone from Steve Kerr to Alvin Gentry to Goran Dragic said it: We need to take care of our own business. And that is exactly what a savvy veteran team does-they stay focused and take care of business. The Suns faced back to back games against two of the Western Conference Northwest Division power-houses and destroyed both of them on successive nights. Even more impressive is how the Suns finished off the regular season, without arguably one of the most significant factors of their second half success, Robin Lopez.
After a March 12 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns strung together 10 straight victories, including a 4-1 East Coast road trip before losing the finale at Milwaukee. But the Suns returned home to defeat the San Antonio Spurs before losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder as the final week of the season approached. The thought of battling the Rockets, Nuggets, and Jazz to finish out the season appeared daunting, and left many of us reaching for the Pepto or Xanax. But the Suns made easy work out of each competitor, by an average of over 15 points. Somewhere there's a cliche about peaking at the right time. Well, the Phoenix Suns are doing exactly that.
"We were really focused and balanced in two different types of games. Pretty nice way to finish the season with two meaningful games. We're feeling some positive energy and momentum. It has to carry over. Portland is tough. It's going to be a tough series. We feel good about what we're doing, and we're confident. It'll be a battle of wills. Fortunate for us, we can play both ways."
"It's going to be a hard-fought series...Portland has been playing well. They have got great guys who can score ball. Marcus Camby is one of the best defenders in the league, so it's not going to be easy. We've got to know them better than ourselves."
And now my friends, behold the 3 seed. We can get serious tomorrow, tonight it's time to party:
(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) (via TheBeastieBoysVEVO)
"We got that 3 seed baby!!!!!! Huge win.. My first win in Utah and it came at the perfect time..Playoffs this sat at 7:30..Are y'all ready!!?"
"Great team win 2night 2 get the 3rd seed. Playoffs is when the games really count, Suns fans we need ur energy starting this sat vs Blazers"
Suns Vs. Blazers Game 1 Sunday, 7:30 P.M. (TNT-SUBJECT TO CHANGE)