Last night's game was such a roaring, raging, schizophrenic, soul-scorching conflagration! Not to discredit Lopez' magnificent 3rd quarter at all, but the bench play in the second was so key to PHX wuthering the heights of UTA's inital emotional explosion! Whether you consider it or not, after PHX weathered, UTA withered.
After giving that 9-0, gut punch to start the game, UTA stormed out to a 31-19 1st quarter lead. In the not too distant past, the bench would have come in, Warrick flailing around, Dragic putting his head down and bowling to the paint, Pietrus chucking, and the SUNS would have been down by 24.
But last night, something marvelous, something stellar happened! Dudz brings his ususal hustle, and the Hammer is his rock solid self, but Zabian adds to that, directing, moving the ball, zipping around like he's half Nash, half Barbosa. And WARrick dunks, and then hits a 20-foot jumper!
Good thing the game was at Utah!! If it had been in PHX, they would have had to stop the game to clean Scott's projected puke off the floor!!!
And the BENCH, that glorious, throbbing, pulsating entity of energy that enabled PHX to ride through rough spots last year and rest the regulars during that remarkable rush to the playoffs, slashed the lead to 6! This was so far ahead of schedule that the starters actually let things get worse by half, when PHX was down 12.
Then Lopez arises form his hibernation in the 3rd!! And Peaches lock down D on DWill (Peaches kept whispering in Deron's ear, "Look out! Sloan's right behind you! 3rd row!! He's got his shotgun!").
And the Jazz "run out of gas... blah, blah, blah... not because of PHX' D... yadda, yadda, yadda... too emotional, too tired." At halftime Barry took some crack at PHX' D and said something like it's just what the doctor ordered for an ailing offense like UTA. Got any comments about the 2nd half, Mr. Barry?
After that 27-13 (!!!!!) 3rd quarter, PHX starts off the 4th up 2. Then WARmac scores PHX' first five, again hitting a 20 foot jumper in the mix!! Scott has to wipe the sputum off his laptop again!!
And the BENCH hangs out to the lead-- get this, the PHX bench only HAD 2 TURNOVERS FOR! THE!! GAME!!!
Nash comes back in and absolutely DRILLS a cold-blooded three right in the eye of UTA nation (see map on gamethread, which you can't because it was deleted). UTA calls a timeout, but it's tooo late. They crash and burn; PHX outscores them by 9 until DWill statpads that late 3.
SUNS WIN!!!! SUNS WIN!!!!! On the ROAD, on the 2nd night of a back-to-back!!
Because the BENCH was HUGE!!! Frye goes 1-7 from the 3; he, GHill, and VC go a combined 7-25 from the floor, and PHX WINS!!
WARMACHINE goes for 16 and 6! PolishMARCHINE grabs another double-double, 12 and 10 in 31 minutes!! The BENCH is a + 43 combined, which equals the number of points they scored!! (Does that mean they outscored UTA 43-0 when they were on the floor? I'll leave that up to the advanced stats geeks-- no wait, let me check the rectal database-- Yep, that's correct!! +/- of +43 means the BENCH is +infinity better than UTA's!!!!)
The rest of the Association says, "Blah, blah, blah... it was only a win against an emotionally shipwrecked Jazz team... yadda, yadda, yadda... the Warriors had an off night, er, week, no wait, they beat DEN in there, anyway... PHX has won 11 of 15 BUT their D REALLLY isn't that good, and those wins don't count, and no Amar'e boo hoo hoo..."
Y'all just keep sleeping on the SUNS, y'hear. If the BENCH can give us solid, and MORE than solid minutes, to let the old farts rest on then come in blasting away, well, we'll just see where everybody's standing come playoff time!!