Suns fall short against Timberwolves in 105-93 loss

Two of Dragic's sparse points.. - Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns came in with a chance to win consecutive games for just the sixth time this season. In the end, they didn't stand a chance. A tightly contested (and outrageously sloppy) game turned into a double digit loss as Minnesota pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Recap:

The Suns sprinted out of the gate with Wesley Johnson scoring the Suns' first seven points. The lead ballooned to 24-14 before the Wolves clawed back to within six to end the period. Johnson led all scorers with 11 points. Scola grabbed seven of Phoenix's ten rebounds. Ricky Rubio got the early edge in the point guard battle with eight points, four assists and three steals. Score: Suns 28, Timberwolves 22

The Suns maintained a tenuous grip on the lead in the second quarter, with Minnesota attempting to chip away with J.J. Barea, seven points, as the catalyst for their offense. Scola helped the Suns from relinquishing their lead with eight points in the quarter. Minnesota managed to tie the game at 50 after a frenetic sequence of events that was equal parts pandemonium and poor judgment, but Markieff Morris ended the half with a three pointer to give the Suns back the lead going into intermission. Score: Suns 53, Timberwolves 50

The point guard matchup at the half:

Dragic - 4 points (1-5), 9 assists, 2 steals, 0 turnovers

Rubio - 13 points (6-11), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 2 turnovers

The slight nod goes to Rubio.

Luis Scola led the Suns in points (12) and all players in rebounds (8), but committed SIX turnovers. This prodigal nature led to a 14-6 deficiency in the turnover department for Phoenix. Despite outshooting the Wolves 55.6% (20-36) to 42.6% (20-47) the extra possessions Minnesota garnered from the Suns carelessness allowed them to keep pace. Here's another fun tidbit: The Suns had less points in the paint (14) than the Wolves had fast break points (15).

Minnesota regained the lead from the Suns early in the third period at 60-59. It was their first lead since 5-4 in the game's opening minutes. The teams then began bartering buckets for the next several minutes before Minnesota was able to take a four point edge headed into the final quarter. Derrick Williams dropped eight to lead the Wolves surge, while Markieff went for seven to build on a solid game with 17 points and eight rebounds through three quarters. The Suns continued to be plagued by turnovers, with eight more in the period, as total for the game bulged to 22. Score: Timberwolves 77, Suns 73

Minnesota began to open up the lead at the start of the fourth quarter, taking a 90-80 lead. The Suns tried valiantly to fight back and got within six (94-88) on a breakaway layup by Dragic, but couldn't get any closer as Rubio helped the Wolves seal the deal with nine consecutive points down the stretch. The Suns managed just seven points in the final 6:15 as they fell short. Final Score: Timberwolves 105, Suns 93

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Player of the Game:

Ricky Rubio. 24 points, 10 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals.

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Comments of the Game:

That follow by Scola was the most acrobatic move since that one time he dunked

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This game is uglier than Kirilenko's hair right now.

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Wasn't Derrick Williams being shopped pretty hard?

Kind of wish the Suns got him. He has a lot of upside.

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Only the Suns can get a shot clock violation after a time out

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*This section has been truncated due to the Suns not being good enough to draw a strong following on the thread. Sigh.

The Good:

Dragic continues to be a dynamic distributor, dropping 14 dimes as he danced around the defense. His 13 games with double digit assists since the all-star break gives him the most of any player in the league over that stretch.

Markieff Morris had a sparkling performance during a season where he's had a dearth of such games. Markieff led the Suns in scoring (20) and rebounds (9), but also contributed four to the turnoverfest.

The Suns may have been hard on the eyes tonight, but they competed... which is all you can ask for from a team that is overmatched on a nightly basis.

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The Bad:

The Suns may as well have only suited six players for this game. Dudley was the only person off the bench who didn't have a pernicious effect on the game.

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The Ugly:

Turnovers. Turnovers. Turnovers. I guess I could type this 24 more times to reach the Suns ignominious total of 27. Scola (8) and Dragic (6) were the main culprits, combining for more than half of that total by themselves. The Suns allowed 33 points off turnovers compared to just 11 by Minnesota. Guess why the Suns lost the game...

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Final Thoughts:

The Suns on a Saturday night used to be a hot ticket. Not anymore. This game had a somber and funereal tone. The pace of the game may have made it more enjoyable if it wasn't for the egregiously sloppy play... especially by the Suns.

This used to be the time of year when the Suns were preparing for the postseason. Then they were fighting down the stretch to sneak in. This year the most satisfying part of the season for many fans will be when the nightmare ends with the final buzzer in Denver. Since this game was a little bit earlier, though, it can be classified as a day terror, but still encompassed under the umbrella of the Suns general suckitude.

The most entertaining part of this game was the Mario Brothers coin block sound the PA plays when Minny makes free throws... and I'm not kidding. Sigh.

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