I'm going to keep this recap short and sweet and go back to celebrating a great victory. The Suns were supposed to lose this game. When Kobe started to go off in the 3rd, the Suns were supposed to roll over and accept the fact that they lost to a better team today. That didn't happen because of four things - these four things just happen to be the same four things I said we would need to win this game today.
1) Slow it down and play through Shaq: Shaq finished the game with 33 points and 7 rebounds. He was guarded by inferior players all game and the Suns were able to take advantage of this.
2) JRich and Barbosa have to play out of their minds: Okay, so I only got this one half right. Barbosa (who is playing BEAUTIFUL basketball right now) scored 22 points with 7 assists and only 3 turnovers in the starting PG role. He also played almost the whole game (more on that later). JRich struggled but did hit some timely shots but Grant Hill and Matt Barnes more than made up for JRich's struggles.
3) Take care of the ball: The Suns had 15 turnovers but for the most part were able to take care of the ball when they needed to - that was pretty scary at the end though. They were also able to force the Lakers into 15 turnovers.
4) Goran Dragic has to earn his paycheck: Okay, so he definitely didn't earn his paycheck, but the spirit of this was that he couldn't hurt the Suns with his scared play. I thought Gentry was very smart limiting Dragic to only 4 minutes. The Suns didn't have Steve Nash available to dig them out of a hole caused by Dragic and made up for this by not allowing the Slovenian to dig them into a hole in the first place.
All in all, the Suns were able to beat a great Lakers team without two of our best players. They were also able to withstand Kobe looking like he was going to just take the game over and forced others to make plays. This is a great win and one that we can definitely build off of. So all of you Suns fans, enjoy the victory and let's hope that they can continue to play with this same passion throughout this tough section of their schedule. If they do - we will definitely be rooting for our Suns in the playoffs.
Post game Audio provided by Sports 620 KTAR
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