I finally got around to watching the first 45 minutes of yesterday's game against the Clippers that I missed last night. This wasn't a rerun of Thursday's blowout, obviously. The Suns had to hang on for dear life to get their first consecutive win in three weeks. Still, as Joe Gilmartin says, this "W" counts just as much as the one on Thursday, and it was good for the Suns to scrape out a close one and get their first win of the season when scoring less than 100. They also set an NBA season high in blocks with 16. Seven of the eight Suns who played had at least one. Brian Skinner led the way with four. Grant Hill and Amare Stoudemire had three each. Steve Nash was the lone absentee from the "block party", and really had kind of a quiet night in general, but as is usually the case, he made some key plays down the stretch to help seal the win.
The Clippers kept the game close thanks in part to a huge rebounding effort by Chris Kaman, and a weird, off-night by the Suns from the free throw line. Kaman's 20 boards (six on the offensive end) helped give the Clippers an 11-rebound edge to offset their 34.7% shooting. The Clippers also made 21 of their 25 free throw attempts, while the Suns missed 10 of their 23. All of this led to a rather exciting fourth quarter, where the Suns were able to hold on for the 94-88 win.
Do we have to call him Sir?
Steve Nash was named to the Order of Canada yesterday. Wikipedia has a nice, detailed description of what this honor means for those of us who are not from Canada. Here is East Valley Tribune's take, including Nash's reaction to the news. (And no, we don't have to call him "Sir". As an Officer of the Order of Canada, we can call him Steve Nash, O.C).
D.J. Goes Wild in Albuquerque
It didn't take D.J. Strawberry long to end up in the "high points" column on the Albuquerque Thunderbirds results page. After getting 26 points in his debut game on December 23rd, he went off for 41 Friday against the Utah Flash. The scoring barrage included 4-of-6 three pointers, 7-of-10 free throws, and 15-of-25 overall from the field. He also had four assists and two blocks. The lone black spot in an otherwise stellar line was the eight turnovers. Here's hoping NBATV will make this their D-League Game of the Week.