Final Score: Phoenix Suns take care of business, paste the New York Knicks at home 112-88

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Goran Dragic led off the night with 18 points in the first quarter, and the Phoenix Suns beat the New York Knicks by 24 points to strengthen their hold on the 8th seed.

The game started off with a fire-breathing dragon leading the Phoenix Suns and progressed to the entire team blasting the New York Knicks in the second quarter (28-14 scoring advantage).

The first half was punctuated by a fan hitting the vaunted half-court shot to win $77,777 dollars, It got even better when he was mobbed by the Suns players at midcourt during the timeout. He was hip-checked by Gerald Green, dapped by Eric Bledsoe and patted on the back by Morris and just about every guy on the bench. Great, great scene.

After that, the Suns blew out the Knicks and it wasn't even close.

The Suns built a 22-point lead by halftime lead that felt bigger than it was, proving it by jumping up by 32 by mid-fourth, giving the Suns and their fans the kind of 'take care of business' game they really needed to have.

Goran Dragic had 20 points in 17 first-half minutes, while Markieff Morris had 14 and 6 and Eric Bledsoe had 8, 4 and 4 in 18 minutes apiece. And that was just at halftime.

Dragic got yet another battle scar, needing stiches to stop the bleeding from his eye, but he came back to score another 12 points in the second half before it was a blowout.

Our old Amare Stoudemire looked studly for a while, putting up 8 and 6 in his 17 first-half minutes but the Knicks just weren't feeling it as a team.

The second half was even more of a blowout, as the Suns stretched the lead to 32 much like they'd led on Wednesday night by 25 at the same point. Clearly, the Suns would let off the gas at some point, but when? And how close would the Knicks be able to get?

On Wednesday night, the Wizards got all the way back to 3 points from 25.

The Knicks didn't show any real signs of life between the early fourth and late third, and by then it was too late to make it a game.

The Suns lead at the end of three was still 22 points despite a 13-4 Knicks run with their starters.

The Knicks run continued in the early 4th, cutting the lead to 17, but then it petered out after that as Bledsoe made a three and Dragic got three points the other way (layup-and-one).

Miles Plumlee got a double-double, Bledsoe nearly had a triple-double and Goran Dragic had 30 points before the Suns pulled away for good. While the team wasn't able to turn it back on in Washington until the final minutes, they turned this one into a laugher in the mid-fourth to make all four quarters a sound beating.

Former Suns Shannon Brown entered the game for the Knicks after the Suns pushed the lead back to 27. The Suns countered with Archie Goodwin. Both teams played their deep, deep bench to finish the game. Alex Len, Shavlik Randolph, Dionte Christmas and Ish Smith joined Archie for the final minutes.

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