The Suns said the key to this game was playing better. Mission accomplished.
From the tip it was obvious that the Suns were going to push the ball and play at their tempo even if they were missing some of those early looks. They kept at it and sure enough, Nash had nine assists before 10 minutes ticked off the clocked as he repeatedly found Hill and Richardson in transition.
Credit to the Suns defense and rebounding for igniting the break. Suns out-rebounded Portland 22-15 in the first half and that was key to the fast start that put this game out of reach for Portland. Portland shot 40% in the first half and really, only the first half matters.
Suns did a great job out of the locker room (31-19, 3rd Qtr) to keep the pressure on and extend the game from "big lead" to "blow out" before the Travis Deiner and Dwayne Jones show began.
119-90, series tied 1-1.
No day but today, suckas!
Grant Hill at one point was 9 for 9 and finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds
Jason Richardson was ON FIRE, hitting 4/5 three's and getting to the rim as well. He finished with 29 points and 6 rebounds
Nash and Amare were both excellent and they each rose to the occasion in their own way. Nash by pushing the tempo and Amare with great paint play on both ends
Channing Frye had a forgettable game - 3 pts, 4 reb in 28 minutes. Suns need more from him
Leandro had some nice buckets, but I hate the way the Suns offense looks with him on the floor. He's a ball-stopper
Stay tuned for more post game
Grant Hill, who checked Miller, held Andre to 12 points on 11 shots. That's some solid D right there but as the picture above shows, it takes a village to stop a 'Dre.
- Suns pulling out all the tricks to get the crowd loud and pumped up
- In related news. Thunder Sticks should be banned by international accord
- Grant Hill starts on Miller
- While I was writing that the Suns got down court and go a shot off. Missed but it was fast
- Yup. Suns firing away. Still haven't hit anything
- Oops. Scratch that. Nash to JRich on the break off a DReb
- Suns certainly have more of that Suns look about them so far
- Amare block! Quick bucket by Hill in early offense
- Suck on that all you Collins haters! Two points for JC
- Already 4 fouls on the Suns....gonna be one of those nights where the refs are going to be talked about far too much. They do know that these people aren't cheering for them, right?
- Batum w/ his 2nd foul sits. Thanks, refs
- JRich for three!
- This is a totally different game than Sunday. Suns up 17-11, 6:06
- I wonder if I would get kicked out if I popped the Thunder Sticks of the guy sitting right behind my head?
- Man they are calling the touch fouls. Suns need to recognize and attack even harder on the other end
- Camby misses wide open layup. Nash pushes and finds JRich for his own open bucket (not a miss)
- Amare = Bully Baller!
- See Amare, Marcus can't stop you
- Suns fans need pre-game practice w/ their MVP chants...disjointed
- Bayless three cuts it to 26-20
- JRich's two threes uncuts it to 32-20
- Free throw line only thing keeping Portland in this game
- LB with nice spins moves but too much help in the lane
- Juwan Howard is automatic w/ that turn around 10 footer
- Gentry slapped the ref on the awss he walked by. A good call love tap?
- Camby just rejected Dragic layup attempt so hard they had to stop the game to re-inflate the ball
- As well as Phx started, Portland keeping it close 32-26 but the pace is all Phoenix
- 9 assists for Nash. He and Hill and Richardson were pushing the crap out of the ball. The ball had no crap left for Dragic to push out
- I count three times that LB and Goran have had their layups blocked. I like the aggression though
- Lou with a couple of early ORebs
- LB with the ball too much trying to do too much on his own. I don't think I am ready to like him on the floor again (see also first bullet about liking the aggression)
- 36-26 10:31
- Dragic and Frye did a good job with Bayless there
- Now when LB attacks early in transition like that, I like that. Just not in the half court
- Great D from Jared to blitz LMA and get the steal!
- 3rd foul on Aldridge. Suns up 39-28
- Dragic turnover on a bad pass or mis-communication with JRich. Nash in a bit earlier than normal. Gentry not playing around
- Amare back in Frye out. Lou stays on the floor. Good call. Frye's not done squat
- At the rate they are calling fouls, this game is going to be decided by Earl Clark vs Patty Mills
- Suns 41-34, 6:37
- Grant looking sharp tonight hitting his shots
- I don't think the crowd believed that Miller was really hurt. I am going with the crowd on that one
- The ref's must have checked the box score between periods and now the Suns are getting the calls and into the penalty early
- Suns posting up JRich and not letting the Blazers get away with fronting the post this game like they did last time. Creating space and throwing the lob
- 48-36, 4:29
- Miller getting some shots up on Hill but not nearly as efficient. 3/8
- Amare picks up his 2nd foul trying to contain Miller on a trap
- Sweet back cut from Hill. Amare was ready for that. Nice pass
- Amare goes right at Camby faced up in isolation and forces the foul (which might sound familiar if you read the game preview)
- This game is not sold out. Shame on you, Phoenix. Shame. Shame. Shame.
- Suns with a little full court pressure
- Grant Hill playing great
- 63-49, Suns
- Blazers shoot 40%, Suns 51%. Suns scoring despite only 3/10 from three and only 7 points from the bench. Suns up 22-15 on the glass, 14-4 2nd chance points, 13-4 fast break points
- Good job not letting down after the half. Blazers TO with Suns up 74-56, 8:09 after Amare little paint bucket
- 25 points for Jason. I think that's good. That's good, right?
- Remember when the Suns centers were combining for like 25 and 12 each game? Miss you Robin!
- Nash goes circus shot
- Great D. Suns trap Miller and then Hill rotates over to pick up the charge on Bayless - his 4th foul!
- Up 20, yo!
- and now the refs swing back the other way - Blazers in the penalty but only 1 foul for them
- Nash totally stops chasing Bayless and gives him a wide open shot. He missed
- Grant Hill, not missing. Now 9-9
- 5 fouls on Bayless! Patty Mills time?
- Suns rubbing it in. Nash knows he won't be playing the 4th so he's getting up some extra shots. 89-64
- Frye finally hits the three but only b/c Dudley passed up an open shot to get him the ball. There's a rule about that somewhere in Bill Simmons book of basketball
- 94-69 Blowout.
- John Hollinger is an uber stat geek. In person he's exactly how you would expect an uber stat geek to be
- Now they are letting them play
- Bayless back in the game to make sure he earns his DQ
- Suns bench not letting up. I don't like all this iso offense from LB but I love the D on the other end from Lou, JD and yes, Frye
Bye bye Bayless
- Gentry pissed at Channing after that play. No idea why
- Bye bye Bayless
- Nice aggressive move by Clark
- Not much in the way of notes in the 4th...blow out mode. Drafting recap
- Travis Deiner in the game! YES!!!