Taking care of business. The Phoenix Suns (35-33) did what they were supposed to do this afternoon in L.A., they beat the Clippers (27-44) and now look forward to a showdown with L.A. Lakers on Tuesday. We are now 2 games behind Memphis for the final 8th seed in the West.
This season the Suns hadn't fared particularly well in their mid-day games going only 2-2 in those situations before today. But today the Suns played hard physical basketball for a full 48 minutes and coupled the effort with smart defense and efficient offense.
Steve Nash finished with 23 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds (3 shy of his 4th career triple-double) while the combination of Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick defensively held Rookie of the Year shoe-in Blake Griffin to 17 points on 6-18 shooting and only 2 rebounds and 3 assists. That's no feat to roll your eyes at - just yesterday Griffin posted 30 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists whereas today he was constantly frustrated and ultimately fouled out halfway through the 4th quarter on a controversial charge call as he viciously dunked over Marcin Gortat.
A few more Sunday tidbits after the jump.
If you were like me and worried about Steve Nash's health coming into this game then we couldn't be more encouraged with the effort, mobility and pep that Steve had in his step today. He looked healthy and was filling the stat scoring as well as dishing and grabbing rebounds. If this Suns team is going to make the playoffs, that destiny hinges on Steve's health and the most encouraging stat that I noticed in that regards is how many 3pt shots he hit. In both today's game and Friday's win v. the Warriors - He made 3 (3-4 on Friday, 3-3 today), something he hadn't done since February 15. That my friends is a good sign. Steve might be back. Stay tuned.
The next major factor of this Suns victory was the bench. In the absence of Aaron Brooks due to his league issued suspension, Zabian Dowdell, Warrick, Dudley and Gortat came up big as they scored 51 points and played with major defensive intensity when they were in the game forcing turnovers and difficult shots from the Clippers.
This was a good win all around - now let's look ahead to Tuesday's matchup with the Lakers who will be without Bynum missing two games for a Flagrant 2 foul he committed against Minnesota's Michael Beasley yesterday.
P.S. - I just wanted to throw this out there because normally I'm an avid Vince Carter hater - He played pretty well today, he had a little elevation on his jump-shot and had some big assists and rebounds. I like what he did today. The end.
Let us and the whole cyber-world know what you thought of today's game below in the comment section.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday amigos!
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