...some pretty rough basketball is played.
That is what happened between the Phoenix Suns (5-2) and the New Orleans Pelicans (3-4) in the teams second game in five nights. Early in the season the team spoiled the fans with exciting up-and-down basketball. This game they proved it is not how you start a game, but how you close it.
Normally the closer role is reserved for Eric Bledsoe, but tonight the Suns relied on plays from Markieff Morris, Goran Dragic, Gerald Green, Bledsoe, and an entire team effort in the forth quarter.
The game never got out of hand with the Suns biggest lead through three quarters only reaching eight and the Pelicans getting to four. It was a close game all-around until late when the Suns clung to a three point lead before separating it out for a (95-88) win.
Bledsoe turned it on late for the Suns scoring (7) of his 24 points late. He was the closer on the offensive end, but the credit for this win has to go to the interior defense in the fourth quarter of Miles Plumlee and Co.
There was no room for Anthony Davis or any of the Pelicans to make plays in the fourth quarter as Plumlee locked it down with four blocks. The swarming Suns defense was tremendous late only allowing a few rotation threes from Eric Gordon, but nothing inside the paint. The real story of this game was Markieff, again.
For a fourth straight game Markieff was on top of his game scoring 23 points and pulling down 5 rebounds. He was a go-to offensive player in the half court and led the way off the bench again.
Green stepped up with 12 points including a few spectacular dunks in this one. It was his fifth game in a row with double-digit scoring, a career best. Goran Dragic also returned to action scoring 12 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Can Dragic and Markieff become a bench duo?
The Suns are now 4-0 at home and have had a margin of victory of under 10 points in five of seven games. Up next is another rematch with the Portland Trail Blazers on the road on Wednesday night.