The Phoenix Suns came out flat, cold, and disjointed to start the game, while the Cleveland Cavaliers came out hot and energetic. As one would imagine, this was a recipe for disaster as the Cavs quickly reeled off a 22-4 lead after only six minutes into the first quarter, eventually falling behind by as many as 26 points.
Alvin Gentry called multiple time outs before finally going to his bench early to see if they would respond better than the starters. And while the Suns were able to at least stop the bleeding, the Cavs still got off to a 37-16 lead to end the first quarter.
Things got better for the Suns in the second quarter, mostly behind the aggressive play of Goran Dragic, Sebastian Telfair, and Shannon Brown; as well as some improved defensive rotations by the Suns that helped to slow down the smoking hot Cavs. The Suns actually outscored the Cavs in the second quarter and were able to shrink the lead down to 13 to make it 62-49 at the half.
The Suns started the 3rd quarter on a run and cut the lead down to as little as five at one point thanks to the hustle of Goran Dragic who already had 21 points midway through the quarter, but the Cavs answered back as the Suns started going cold from the field once again, and Cleveland was able to re-extend their lead to seven at the end of the third quarter up 83-76.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Shannon Brown and PJ Tucker once again showed that while they may not be starters, they are both very good closers. Sebastian Telfair and PJ Tucker played very good defense disrupting the Cavaliers and forcing them into bad shots and decisions, while Brown hustled in for a lay-up, hit a jumper, and then another quick layup to eventually give the Suns their first lead of the night.
Then Dion Waiters happened.
Waiters hit two three-point shots and another nice contested jumper down the stretch to regain the lead for the Cavaliers back up by four.
But just when it looked like the Suns had flamed out, they fought back with a total team effort from the closing five of Dragic, Brown, Beasley, Tucker, and Gortat and were able to out last the Cavaliers showing hustle and energy on both ends of the court to close out the game 107-105.
The Suns were led by Goran Dragic's 26 points and 4 assists, and Marcin Gor-SWAT's 12 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, and 3 steals; as well as the big time contribution of Shannon Brown off the bench scoring 22 points in his 26 minutes of play.
The Cavaliers were led by rookie sensation Dion Waiters and his 23 points, Anderson Varejao's 14 points and 10 rebounds, as well as Daniel Gibson's 19 points off the bench.
Once again, the Suns gave their fans a heart attack with the photo finish at the end, but you have to appreciate the no-quit attitude and fight in this team, and it eventually paid off for them once again.
As I'm sure Alvin Gentry will say shortly in his post game press conference, a win is a win...we'll take it.