With two starters out and coming off a poor loss on Wednesday, no one know what to expect on Al McCoy night at US Airways arena. In the words of Al McCoy was it going to be an "Oh, brother!" night or a night of "Shazzam!" It proved to be the latter and in the best way possible! Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire both scored 23 points.
Leandro Barbosa came off the bench again after starting the past few games and that seemed to help things a lot. When Barbosa starts, there really isn't a good "energy" guy to come off the bench if the starters come out slow. So Mike D'Antoni changed things up a bit and started James Jones instead and that seemed to help. Of course, it also helped that Pat Burke and Eric Piatkowski (no, that isn't a typo - there was an actual Eric Piatkowski sighting during a close game) played well and both scored in double figures. Pat Burke played 24 minutes, shot 3-5 and had 10 points and 4 rebounds. Piatkowski (I'm having trouble spelling his name since I haven't typed it much. I seem to want to type Piakowski or Piatkouski or something similar - this is going to take some getting used to) scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting.
The Suns outscored the Pacers in every quarter and while the score was close sometimes, it seemed like the Suns had the game from the beginning. Jermaine O'Neal seemed frustrated. He didn't get to the free throw line at all during the game. He normally averages almost 7 per game. None of the Pacers shot well unless you count Maceo Baston and Orien Greene shooting 50% because they both made 1 of 2. The team combined to shoot 38% from the field and 31% from three-point land. Want to taste what it's like to be on the other side? Check out Indy Cornrows. It makes you feel good to be a Suns fan right now.
The next game will be a bigger test - especially if Marion and Diaw still can't play. The Suns host the Lakers on Sunday. They haven't played the Lakers since the beginning of the season but while the Lakers were supposed to be much better this season, they've gone 3-7 in their past 10 games, they are 12 games behind the Suns in the division and they appear to be a solid 6 seed in the playoffs.