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Phoenix Suns Bring the Defense, Handle Kings, 98-84

Tonight the Phoenix Suns clearly had their big boy pants on. They withstood the blood and hits and intimidation of the Sacramento Kings and won the bout of Western Conference light weights, 98-84.

The Suns put in an excellent defensive effort, limiting the Kings to 35% shooting on their home court. The defensive charge was led by Grant Hill, who made Tyreke Evans a non-factor, holding the 6-6 point guard to 4 points on 1-9 shooting.

Down in the trenches, Phoenix narrowly lost the overall rebounding battle 42-38, but 50% shooting and an excellent bench effort more than made up for it.

Jared Dudley led the Suns with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while a bloodied Steve Nash dished 15 assists. Channing Frye continued his improvement from the field, knocking down 6 of 12 for 17 points.

This is about as good as the Phoenix Suns can play in the year 2012. The Kings record isn't very good, but they have put together quality efforts against the WC elite winning against the likes of the Lakers, Thunder, Spurs, and Trailblazers. What is also impressive about this victory is the Suns began to pull away from the Kings early, opening up an 11 point 1st quarter lead, and held the lead without Steve Nash in the lineup for the second quarter. Ronnie Price and Sebastian Telfair put in quality appearances, with Price adding 6 points on 3-3 shooting while Telfair handed out 4 assists. Neither player turned the ball over. This was just one of the things that...WENT RIGHT!

And there were more:

  • Marcin Gortat had a rough assignment trying to contain DeMarcus Cousins. Gortat responded by limiting the big new insane guy in the NBA to 8-18 shooting while going 15, 7 and 4.
  • Markieff Morris picked up his first technical foul tonight while getting in the grill of Francisco Garcia. Kieff added 18 6 and 3 off the bench. He didn't back down to anyone tonight, and Alvin Gentry rewarded the youngster by keeping him on the floor down the stretch while Marcin Gortat watched from the bench.
  • Jared Dudley scrapped and clawed his way to a double-double including 10 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocked shots.
  • Steve Nash once again bled for the Phoenix Suns and their fans. At the end of the first quarter Nash was struck accidentally by Isiah Thomas, who was crushed by a Gortat screen. The hit was so hard, Thomas' arm spasdically extended, his hand catching Nash on the lip. Nash would later return after 4 stitches were sewn into his flesh.
  • The Suns bench stepped up, outscoring the Kings 35-27 and didn't lose the lead in the dangerous second quarter.

Next up, the Warriors, on Monday in NorCal.

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