All of a sudden a pretty routine game goes from a quiet late night at the library to a pumped up dance party with DJ JRich spinning the discs - thanks to Earl Watson and Channing Frye mixing it up.
Here's the blow by blow as I saw it from the replays:
- Watson runs into a Frye pick and slaps Channing's hands and then shoves him a little in the mid-section and turns to cover Steve
- Frye pushes Watson in the back of the head which prompts Granger to come at Channing with two hands to the chest
- Channing swings and chaos errupts...not too much chaos but enough for JRich and Roy Hibbert to dance a bit
- Jason, Granger and Hibbert get T'd up and Frye gets tossed. I am fairly sure they gave him one T for the shove on Watson and another for the swing at Granger. We'll see if Frye gets any games for that. He definitely lost his cool with that shove to the back of Watson's head
- Can't really blame Granger for sticking up for his guy or Hibbert or Jason from that point on
That got the crowd riled up and Granger who shushed the crowed after hitting the T instantly became the villain getting boo'd every time he touched the ball.
The Suns were up 87-83 at that point and managed to close out the ugly contest.
It didn't seem to be an especially chippy game up to that point although Lou and McRoberts got tangled up in the 1st half and drew the double T's and Dunleavy took an elbow from JRich in the chest (kind near his arm pit) that knocked him out of the game. That one seemed inadvertent from the replay I saw.
The refs were calling a tight game all along with 40 free throws taken by half time and a total of 72 by the time the night was over.
Frye also tweaked his shoulder in the 1st quarter on a routine play. Seems like it popped out but went right back in. It looked pretty bad when he was walking walking off the court hunched over with the arm hanging motion-less at his side. He was back on the bench and then in the game by the middle of the second quarter though. Eventful night for him.
Amare continued to feast on the Pacers finishing with 30 points against the team he's averaged the most points against in his career. Jason and Grant did their part as well (20 and 22), as Nash did just enough to survive the game hitting some big shots in the third when Phoenix was flat. He finished with 12 points and 5 assists.
The Pacers had 24 second chance points at the half and finished with 34. Gentry won't be happy about that but a win is a win.
It wasn't a pretty game with both teams missing a ton of shots and spending a lot of time at the line but the fans at least had some fun thanks to Channing.
The win is the Suns' 40th on the season and 1900th for the franchise overall.
Locker Room Report
Channing Frye was a bit contrite in the locker room but insisted that he didn't throw a punch in the fracas. Certainly looked it to me watching the replays. He might have even swung twice, once at Granger and once at Hibbert. Hibbert also looks like he took a few jabs at Nash while the ref was restraining him.
"I was just setting a screen to Steve and Earl swatted my hands away the first time and that wasn't a big deal and the second time - I don't think it was the right play," said Frye. "I want to emphasize it's not my style of play to be mushing people and doing stuff like that. But I think at a certain point you've got to protect yourself and you can't just allow a play like that. I know the ref called it, but at that point I kind of took things into my hands which wasn't the right play."
And yes, Channing said "mushing". That's not a typo. Listen for yourself:
Nash joked that he'll probably end up getting suspended as well. You might recall last season he got one game for "escalating" the little tussle with the Rockets.
This time, if anyone's going to get suspended for escalation it would be Danny Granger who said this, "They were playing dirty and throwing cheap shots at one of my teammates. That's the tale of the tape. Watch the tape yourself and you'll see what happened."
As for the crowd reaction he got for "shhing" the fans after hitting the technical free throw he said, "I love it. I absolutely love it when you can get the entire auditorium chanting "you suck," that's pretty nice I think."
Nash is still playing through pain and is uncertain if the five days off will be enough to get him right.
Here's the video. The fight starts at about the 1:30 mark. In this one they imply some kind of carry over from the last time Suns were in Indiana and Earl elbowed Nash in the face. No one here thinks there's a connection but apparently Frye and Earl shoved a bit on an earlier play after a Frye dunk.
Post Game Audio:
More pictures of the altercation from Max Simbon who missed the initial flare up but caught the rest:
- Nice block by Amare to get things started. Thought he was beat for sure. He does like the Pacers. Has his best average against them at 24.3 over his career
- And Robin blocks Granger on the 2nd trip down the floor
- Hibbert got good deep post position on Robin off a screen and roll and still missed a 3ft hook. Because he's Roy Hibbert. Due is tall and he seems to have thinned out some
- 3 quick fouls on the Suns...that's less than optimal
- and Robin picks up his 2nd. Not smart, Robin. Frye checks in
- TJ Ford looks tiny next to Nash....nothing more needs to be said
- Down 15-9. Needless to say the effort is less than impressive which of course results in a time out by Gentry which Alvin spends arguing w/ the ref about a no-call on Amare in the paint
- Things you don't see every day: Hill was fouled and made the hoop. They initially said it was before the shot but Alvin went nuts and argued and the refs gathered and reversed the call and gave Hill the continuation.
- Wonder if Gentry gets 2 points in the box score for that?
- After the time out, Suns on 5-0 run
- Suns playing the zone already as Pacers go small
- If you were expecting more funny from these notes you are going to be disappointed...sorry. There's really nothing funny here and I am not in a funny mood. I am fickle that way
- Some guy named Watson checked in for the Pacers. I have no clue who that is. None. Not even a hint of one. Only Watson in the L I know if CJ and he's w/ the Warriors unless he got sent down to the minor league Pacers team
- But are the Pacers more minor league than the Warriors? No. No they are not
- Mike Dunleavy playing. I wonder if they chant "Fire..Dunleavy" when he plays in LA against the Clippers?
- Damn. Channing did something to his sholder. He's hurt bad. Not moving his right arm at all. Didn't really see what happened. Lou in
- Suns up 24-23 btw. I had to look up to check. I had NO IDEA what the score was
- JRich hits a three and Suns go up 29-25
- Channing at first went to the bench were Aaron Nelson was checking him out. I could see Channing struggle to raise his right arm. After short period of time he went back to the training room. Suns doctor went as well.
- Hope he's alright. I saw the replay but didn't really see what happened but he grabbed it immediately. Walking over to the bench he never moved his right arm and was hunched over in pain
- JRich lead Suns with 9 points (2/3 from 3). Amare with 8. Suns shot 45%, Pacers 25% but they got 7 OReb and went to the line a ton (11/12 from FT)
- They are calling it a "Subluxed Right Shoulder" and are saying that Frye will return.
- In the meantime the Suns have Lopez, Lou, Clark, Hill and Dudley on the floor. Crazy line up
- Dudley gets striped leads to a run out. Clark is on Granger
- This crazy 2nd unit at least keeping things even
- The offense is simple. Post up Hill against Earl Watson (I remember him!!!)(I thought he was in an old folks home)
- Surprisingly, this lineup looks a bit confused out there - kind of like a pack of 3rd graders just running all over the place bumping into things
- Gentry seems to agree. JRich in for Earl who was Kindergartner among school kids
- And JRich runs the pick and roll with Robin and gets him a dunk
- Hill with the sweet drive, ball fake and finish
- Ohhh...Lou fight! He gets tangled up with McRoberts and ends up in a tiff. Double T. Doesn't really rise to a tussle
- Nash, Amare and Frye in the game. Suns up 44-40 with 5:45 to go in the half
- Amare w/ another great block! leads to JRich 3
- Everybody clap your hands...clap, clap..clap your hands
- Go ahead do it. No one will know
- Giving up too many ORebs. 9 so far. Of course the Pacers are shooting 30%. If the Suns grab half those they are up by at least 5 more points
- Hey from up hear I can see a bald spot developing on Majerle's head
- The Kiss Cam is a new feature at Suns games. It can go away now. I don't need to see old people smooching thank you very much
- Suns slowly pulling away. Up 55-46
- Amare's been playing really well btw. That's worth saying. Suns are going to him every time right now b/c the Pacers are trying to guard him with Granger which isn't working so well...for them
- Defense chant by PA guy goes unanswered by crowd...no one is really that interested in playing or even cheering for defense right now
- Which really isn't fair since the Pacers are only shooting 32%. Of course they are the Pacers so that's on them too. Not to mention this is the last game of a tough West road trip for them and they played last night in Denver so...
- Oh sure...Granger hits a late three followed by Earl Watson stealing the in bound pass and hitting another three. Suns up 63-57 but it should be 63-51 but it isn't
- But at least the refs showed up and brought their Gorilla whistles - 40 FTA's combined so far. Hope the fans appreciate the effort from those refs
- Amare w/ 17, 5 and 2 blks. Jason and Grant with 13 each. Grant has 7 FTAs and 3 FGAs
- Pacers with 24 2nd chance points in the 1st half. That's the only reason this game is close. Suns clean that up this game will be over before the 4th
- Robin comes down and misses a little hook in the lane so Hibbert responds with a miss of his own on the other end
- Nash not doing too much. He's coasting through this game just trying to survive
- Nash hits a pull-up J to prove my point
- Pacers hit a couple of three's to tie the game. Gentry calls a time out. Sounds familiar
- Robin looks more irritated than normal
- Looking sloopy out there
- Good thing the Pacers don't have a point guard that can make Nash have to play defense
- As long as the Suns win, I am not going to worry about the less than stellar performance
- Goran wearing a grey suit w/ black shirt. LB in some kind of fancy jeans, brown blazers and white shirt. I think I am going w/ LB for better dressed of the two. Goran's hair looks good though
- Nash picks up a charge after Frye gives up the ball. Amare looks around like, "how don't I get that call?"
- Because he's Nash and you're Amare. Fair?
- Nash seems have had enough of this mess. Scores again
- Dudley trying to pretend he's Grant Hill slashing to the lane and doing the finger roll. He's no Grant Hill
- Sweet pass from Dudley to JRich for the jam
- Pacers going at Channing in the post w/ Hibbert
- Hibbert is 8/8 from the line. I kind of like him. I think he's going to break out next year
- Oooh. That blew up fast!!!
- Frye right in the middle of this one...
- Looks like Watson was slapping Frye's hands away and then shoves Frye and turns, Frye pushed him in the back on the head, Granger goes after Frye w/ two hands to the chest, Frye swings, Hibbert and JRich mix it up a bit as well
- JRich, Granger and Hibbert get T'd up. Frye tossed
- Looks like Collins coming in shoot the free throws for Frye who was fouled on the play. They should have picked Lou to shoot it. Jarron hits the shot and then rolls to the basket and draws a foul on Hibbert
- Crowd is riled up
- This game just got interesting at least. Granger shooting the T gives the crowd the hush sign after draining it. He just became a fan target (but I like it...he stuck up for his guy and showed some spunk)
- Suns up 93-86
- Suns up 10 at this point. Energy went from late night library to Friday night club in a heart beat
- Robin running around looking to take someone's head off. Calm down and win the game
- Fans booing Granger every time he touches the ball
- Suns travel - another empty possession. Calm down. Poise
- Amare and Nash come in and restore some order. Suns on a 7-2 run up 103-94
- Granger hits a three and does the finger to the mouth hush sign again...no he's really looking for some hate. He's all fired up and has 5 fouls with 4 minutes to go
- Suns up 107 - 100 with 4 min to go
- Hibbert and Robin fighting it out in the paint. Fun to see
- Pacers miss several three's that could have made it interesting. Gentry pissed about giving up the OReb's
- Suns keep going to Amare in the paint. That's working well. Hibbert fouls out with 1:59 to go. Up 109-103