This game really was much more interesting then the coverage I am about to give it.
The Suns started slow getting down by 16 a few minutes into the second quarter. The starters were mailing it in while the young Warriors were out to avenge the beat down they suffered a few weeks back. The Warriors had a 60% to 30% advantage from the field in the 1st quarter.
Then the young Suns once again came into a game with deficit and used the hustle and defense from Lopez and scoring from LB to win the quarter 32 - 10.
In an interesting side note to this game, JRich has his only 10 points of the night in this quarter and played zero minutes in the fourth while the game was still very much on the line. Why this happened is still a mystery as the post game interviews turned into season recap press conferences. I will try and ask about this tomorrow.
|Final - 4.15.2009
|Golden State Warriors
What really sparked the Suns and woke the aging bears was the physical play. All game long the refs let both teams get away with a lot of contact including an absolute mauling of Goran Dragic the earned him an elbow to the face instead of trip to the line.
This continued throughout the game so much so that any calls that were made seemed senseless and completely unprecedented.
It was great to see the Suns respond to this including young Lopez who got in a tussle with Anthony Randolf for a loose ball and displayed some much appreciated ferocity in the melee. Shaq showed his appreciation as well with a big high five in the time out right after that play.
Late in the game, Hill earned a T arguing what was as blatant of a non-call as you are ever going to see, Shaq with just a few seconds left in the game extended both arms pushing Randolf to the ground in what was clearly a deserved flagrant 1 call. I said early in the game that the refs were letting things get out of hand and that's exactly what happened.
It was if nothing else, surprising to see such a physical game between these two teams playing the last game of the season. More surprising though was the 117 points the Suns managed to score on only 42% shooting.
Grant Hill, playing in his 82nd game of the season, lead all Suns with 27 points but took some ribbing from his team mates for going 7 of 25 to do it. In fact, Steve Kerr introduced him as "Kobe Hill" during the press conference.
After the game I went to the visitor's locker room to hear from the great Don Nelson. Instead, he sent his assistant Keith Smart out to talk to the assembled horde (3 of us) about the game. Nellie was there and in the locker room with a Bud Light in his hand while we waited to talk to Randolf who wasn't all the interested in talking to us.
We did get to witness Roni Turiaf dumping a bucket of ice water on Anthony Morrow while he was showering (and by witness I mean hear the screams) in honor of his winning some 3 point shooting stat that I am too tired to look up.
I am sure the good fellas at Golden State of Mind can tell you all about young Morrow's accomplishments. He really had a strong game and looks like a legit player who can not only knock down shots but drive and finish.