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Phoenix Suns Grind Out Ugly Win Over Portland Trail Blazers: 93-87

The Phoenix Suns played excellent defense against Brandon Roy, holding him to 8 of 25 shooting. (Photo by Max Simbron)
The Phoenix Suns played excellent defense against Brandon Roy, holding him to 8 of 25 shooting. (Photo by Max Simbron)

Snooze-fest or slug-fest? I can't decide. Either way, it wasn't exactly high-octane Suns basketball for the first three quarters. Credit the Blazers for playing good defense but also the Suns for staying in the game by getting stops as well.

Portland didn't give Amare any room to maneuver. They brought help as soon as he touched the ball, but the Suns weren't able to hit their threes and make them pay. On the other end, only Andre Miller had a pulse for the Blazers offense and he was torching Nash and getting to the rim at will. 

Overall, both teams played flat and energy was as scarce as an ounce of civility and common sense in Washington, DC.

But early in the fourth, the Suns regained the momentum and tied the game thanks to some aggressive play from Amare and the zone defense, which Gentry saved for just the right moment. With Miller, Roy and Batum on the wings, the Blazers aren't a big three-point threat and tonight they were ice cold.

On the other end, Jared Dudley was the Sun that finally warmed up and hit a couple big threes that gave the Suns a four-point lead with 5:45 to go. In this game that seemed like a huge margin. The Suns extended the lead to eight thanks to some key rebounds and a couple of buckets from Grant Hill in transition.

It was brutal down the stretch, but the Suns were able to grind it out with a few key stops. Still counts as a W and that's all that matters.

Who said Phoenix couldn't win ugly? 38.8% shooting for Phoenix and 36.4% for the Blazers. That's old school slop right there.

The player of the game was Channing Frye. He was great on the boards (10) and on the defensive end. He was only 2-10 shooting, but made a huge difference in this game against his old team.

Quote of the Game: Channing Frye

"We just got to come out here and play the best we can and do the best we can and just continue to be phyiscal and let the refs know we're going to be a physical team in the playoffs."


Post Game Links

Post Game Audio


Game Notes (That Were Live When I Typed Them But Are Stale By The Time You Read Them. So You Might Not Want To Bother)

1st Qtr

  • Suns wearing Orange at home w/ the Los Suns thing going on. Ariba!
  • Another good crowd tonight. Good for them. Should be a good game
  • Suns have gone to JRich for the first shot in the last two games now. He's missed both. Reminds me of Raja Bell days
  • Amare is not passing up shots or opportunities to get shots. Blazers go right at Nash with a Miller post up. ?'able foul called on Nash
  • Miller attacking quickly before Suns D can get set. So far that's working for them. Suns need to stop the ball sooner
  • Suns start Robin on LMA who shoots and hits a 17fter over the 7fter
  • Hill defending Roy to start. JRich on Batum. Scratch that. They seems to be switching but mostly Jason's been on him
  • Suns up 12 - 7 with 7:45 in the 1st. JRich with 7, Amare with 6. Blazers call the time out
  • Two OReb on this possession for Portland. Nash picks up his 2nd foul. Dragic coming in. This should be interesting to see how he does and it changes the way Portland attacks and Sun defends. Suns can do a lot more switching now
  • Offensively the plan got really simple. Give Amare the ball. Watch Amare power through LMA and score. Repeat? Yes..but w/o the score
  • Amare's missed two open jump shots so far. Hope he finds the range. Suns getting open looks but not hitting them...yet
  • Blazers up 20-16 with 2:50 to go. Time out Suns. Hustle level has dropped for some reason
  • Go Hawks!....and Pacers!
  • Nice post up by JRich on a very good / long defender - Batum
  • Blazers getting too many 2nd chance looks
  • Blazers attacking quickly and decisively while Suns are a step bleh in the half court
  • Suns offensive w/o Nash isn't looking too good
  • Lou coming in for some energy. Suns down 26-21
  • Dragic barley missed a 3/4 court heave at the buzzer
  • Not a good quarter after the 14-7 start. Blazers go on 19-7 run out of their time out. They are the more active and aggressive team  
  • Suns only shot 31% and only down 5. Getting but missing open looks. Blazers up 17-12 on the glass which is my key to the game. 14-10 in 2nd chance points. Game is still well within reach. Time to man-up

2nd Qtr

  • That will work. Block by Frye and Goran pushes the ball fast and finds Hill wide open for a two
  • Dudley sneaks in to steal and OReb and finds Frye for a corner three. Suns up 27-26 just like that. Nice recovery by the bench
  • Goran for three! Suns up 30-28
  • I miss Andre Millers 'fro
  • Nash and JRich set to check in at the next stop. By the time you read that it will be very useless info. Sorry
  • Channing playing well...hits a three AFTER I typed that. I swear. Suns up 33-32 with 6:34 to go
  • 5 rebounds for Frye. He's kicking it old idea how that applies to Channing Frye
  • Suns defense holding 'em in the game. Low scoring, grind it out affair and the no-D playing Sun are staying in it...with their D
  • Nash back in. 34-33 Blazers. with 5:45 to go
  • Blazers switching bigs on to Nash
  • Nash scoring a couple of buckets to remind the world just how is the Most Awesome Man In the World
  • Suns up 41-38 with 2:56. Both teams feel kind of nervous and tight to me...Both teams shooting poorly
  • Nash attacking the bigs they are switching on him. Go Steve, go!
  • LB misses a three. Batum hits one but LB races down court and gets two
  • 47 all...11 lead changes and 7 ties so far. Suns 41.9%. Blzrs 43.9%

3rd Qtr

  • Despite pregame coffee and diet coke, I am dragging ass today. Hopefully the Suns play can wake me up a bit
  • Nice weak side block from Amare on that Roy attempt
  • Game  still kind of dragging so far. 51-49 Blazers 8:28
  • Slug-fest or Snooze-fest?
  • Tons of fouls. Balls everywhere. Missed shots. Just a lot of muck and suck
  • Now that was an impressive lob finish from Robin. Just kind of got up there and guided it in on a pass that wasn't on target
  • Nash shooting 4 of 9. Seems like he's missed more than 5 shots
  • Suns miss an alley-oop and the Blazers respond by missing one of their own. JRich fortunately hits a three to prove that basketball is in fact still being played. 56-56 with 6 min
  • Miller heating up on this mid-range game now...ruh roh. He's got 20
  • 60-60 with 4:29. No Taco Warning...
  • 4 points swing on a charge that was reverse to a block. Roy missed the FT but puts back the rebound. Suns dragging ass. Lou time?
  • No. Frye time
  • Miller is getting the basket at will
  • Suns defense is all kinds of confused right now. Blazers on a 8-2 run
  • Blazers collapsing on Amare but Suns aren't making them pay for it from outside
  • 5-18 from three ain't going to get it done
  • T-shirts are flying out, Blazers!
  • 8 second back court violation on the Suns....LACK OF FOCUS
  • Good stop by the Suns but can they score? The offense is muck. Blazers are getting their hands on a lot of leather (notice how I didn't say balls right there?)
  • Nice D by Dudley on Roy to force him into a tough shot at the end of the Qtr. Suns ONLY down four 68-64
  • I keep waiting for the Suns offense to wake up but it's just not happening. This is going to come down to a couple of possession at the end of the game unless the bench can come in a make a push
  • Suns down to 33.8% after 3. Blzrs 40.3%

4th Qtr

  • Dragic with the travel and Bayless gets a late whistle on the other end. UGLY
  • Amare with two buckets threaten to ignite the crowd/team. 70-72 Blzrs with 10:32 to go
  • The Blzrs have "drawn" fouls on every offensive possession of the quarter so far
  • Suns go to the zone to keep Roy and Bayless out of the paint. Roy hits a J
  • Dragic with the nice blow by to tie the game at 74
  • Momentum has shifted to the Suns. Energy picking up. Smart time out by McMillan. Important for Suns to come out of the TO with another bucket
  • Nope. Goran gets stuffed and Blazers get a bucked off an offensive rebound
  • Dudley w/ the big three!!! Suns up 76-74. 7:18 to go
  • More changed calls in this game than I've seen in a long time
  • Suns zone getting it done and JD heating up from three!!!!! Suns up 82-78 with 5:45 to go
  • Out of the time out, the Blazers came out with a play to attack behind the zone and got LMA the ball under the hoop. Frye has to foul to prevent the easy bucket. Channing wrapped him up good and LMA missed both so...that worked...technically
  • Suns run off the rebound and find Hill in transition!!! Great play. Frye with huge rebound!!! Suns up 86-78. Crowd pumped! Finally a Suns game!!!
  • If Channing hits that three....damn. Too bad
  • Roy drives and hits to cut the lead to 5 with 2:53 to go. JD missed three...
  • Good D by the Suns...need a bucket here. Well, don't NEED as much as WANT. 86-81 2:09. Roy fouls Hill in the penalty. That will work
  • Remember who predicted a close game in the 90's that the Suns win? Go check the preview
  • 2 mins. Suns up 88-81. Great D by Dudley! Trapped the ball out of Roy's hands and recovered to contest a three from Miller
  • Amare needs 19 points to keep his streak alive. He has 18 and missed a FT that would have done it. Still time
  • Blazers subbing Miller out on the offensive end b/c he can't hit a three
  • 89-83 with under a minute. BAD Turnover by Nash!!!  They read that pass and were ready for it. Suns foul Batum on a loose ball but he misses one. 89-84. 34 second. DON'T CHOKE NOW!
  • 8 sec violation on the Suns!! NO!!!!
  • Roy hits a three (of course!!!) to cut it to 2 but Nash is able to draw the foul w. 19 sec left give Suns a 4 point lead. One more stop.....

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