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Points Galore the Sequel: Suns Outrun Wizards 122-107

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I could probably save myself a lot of typing tonight just by saying "see previous game's recap" instead of writing something new. Some of the similarities between this game and the one against Toronto on Wednesday were just downright eerie:

  • The Suns closed the first half with a five point lead, just like Wednesday. The halftime score was 60-55. On Wednesday, it was 61-56.
  • The Suns blew the game open in the third quarter, just like they did on Wednesday. They entered the fourth quarter with a 24-point lead. On Wednesday it was 21.
  • The final margin of victory was 15 points. On Wednesday, it was 13.
  • Steve Nash set a season high 18 assists on Wednesday. Tonight he another season high with 19 this time.
  • Raja Bell had a hot streak in the third quarter that played a role in breaking open the game. The same was true Wednesday as well.
So, in a lot of ways, this game was like a sequel of Wednesday's high scoring affair. The final point tally wasn't quite as amazing as the 136-point original, but still pretty darn good. The most notable thing missing from tonight's game was the aggressiveness shown by Boris Diaw on Wednesday. But he did get it going in the second half (even nailed a three), so I won't be too tough on him. The other thing missing was Leandro Barbosa's hot hand from the three-point line (he was 1-of-5 tonight vs. 5-of-14 last time). But Raja Bell had his back, making an insane 6-of-11 from three, and scoring 22 points overall. He did most of his damage in the third quarter in a run that seemed to really take the air out of the Wizards' hope for a comeback. Amare Stoudemire was crazy good as well, except from behind the free throw line. Apparently, I jinxed him last time by pointing out his charity strip perfection, because he only went 3-of-6 tonight. But he more than made up for it by shooting 12-of-14 from the field and grabbing eight rebounds to go with his 27 points. Oh, and back to Leandro Barbosa--he may not have had it going from three, but he still nabbed 20 points and more impressively, had seven assists. Grant Hill had eight assists of his own to go with his 17 points. He continued to shoot well from three too, knocking down 2-of-4 after going 3-of-5 on Wednesday.

So after all those points, with so many Suns contributing to a third consecutive 120+ scoring effort, they must have beaten the Wizards in number of players with double-digits points too, right? Not so fast. The Suns had six, which is awesome, but the Wizards had seven. A bit of moral victory for the guys in Washington I guess.

This was definitely a night of sharing for the Suns. They one-upped Wednesday night's 38 assist total as a team by getting a new season-high 42 this time. Put that with their 50 made field goals, and you have an 84% assist-to-field goal rate. Not too shabby.

Player of the Game: I went with Steve Nash last time because of the direct impact his presence seemed to have on the Suns' ability to score. I could do the same tonight (or pretty much any Suns game, really), but I won't. I could also give the nod to Amare for a second consecutive stellar shooting night. However, I'm going with Raja Bell. That three-point barrage he had in the third quarter played an enormous role in putting this game in hand. To me, that had the biggest impact in determining the outcome.

Runner-Up:: Andray Blatche. Good thing this game turned into a blowout, otherwise those seven offensive rebounds would have hurt.

Grading the Game: "A" for the second time in a row.

Boxscore     NBA.com Recap     Arizona Republic

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