"It's the most important thing, it's a great win," Suns guard Goran Dragic said after the game. "You know, we were talking about we had a great road trip so we need to take care of business at home. I know it was a great effort from everybody and now try to enjoy Thanksgiving day and go back to Denver and beat them again."
Dragic also had some thoughts on the team, in terms of player rotation, exclusively for Bright Side fans.
Everyone was happy after the Phoenix Suns beat the Denver Nuggets on the first night back from a long road trip. The game was aesthetically pleasing to basketball fans too, played at a blindingly fast pace that made each team feel like they were looking in a mirror.
"That's how they like to play, and that's how we like to play," coach Jeff Hornacek said with a wry smile after the Suns won 120-112. "I'm not sure if there was a whole lot of defense in the first half. We had a little stretch there in the third quarter where we played pretty good defense that allowed us to get the lead, then our guys made shots. Gerald (Green) was hot, made a bunch of shots. P.J. (Tucker) hit a couple I think. Eric (Bledsoe) hit one. It was a good shooting night for us."
P.J. Tucker (10 points, 7 rebounds) liked the Suns hustle.
"We're deep and we play a lot of people," he said of players occasionally being out, like Isaiah Thomas (ankle) and Eric Bledsoe (hip). "Whoever's open was just jacking it up. That's how we play."
Markieff Morris had a special night.
"Basically we got the same identity," forward Markieff Morris said. "You know, try to outscore teams fast, get up and down, get a lot of fast break points. They're a feisty team just like we are and you know, we just closed it out at the end."
Markieff Morris had the best all-around stat line of the night - 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals - going up against fellow 2011 Draft mate Kenneth Faried (8 points, 5 rebounds) in yet another chance to prove who is the better player at least one on one. Over the last season plus, Morris has averaged nearly a double-double against Denver while Faried has played poorly.
"He didn't shoot the ball like he normally does," Hornacek said of his starting PF. "But I thought his activity defensively in that stretch was really good. He got some blocked shots, he was helping out and for a guy that's undersized I would say against some of these power forwards, he goes up and gets them. He's a big-time player that way."
But despite Markieff's production, he wasn't the Suns player of the night. That's got to be Gerald Green.
During one fourth quarter flurry, Green made two spectacular dunks and fallaways threes to help the Suns break the game wide open.
"I told G," Dragic said with a big smile. "Man, you're like a video game. This is my second season with Gerald and any time he makes a play I'm like 'man, is that even possible?' Those are dagger shots for opponents, because they defend well but then G steps in and gives them that."
Here's some gifs of a couple of "Video Game Green"'s dunks.
"He's just been a Nugget killer," Denver coach Brian Shaw said after the game. "All last season and this season to this point. He just finds an opening, it's just like he has a target on us every time we play him."
And now the full Gerald Green highlights, courtesy of youtube user Dawk Ins
Now here's some game highlights that include more than just Gerald.
Happy Thanksgiving, Suns fans!
Enjoy this day however you want to spend it. Whether it's with family, or by yourself, or with friends, I hope you do exactly what you want to do today and enjoy it.
What are you all thankful for?
I am thankful for this blog. It's been my muse, my meditation in the mornings when I write and my source of enjoyment for 82 (and hopefully a lot more this year) games per year. I am thankful for basketball, and I'm thankful to the Suns for helping my realize a dream I've always had to be able to help create a new reality that pairs sports journalism with opinion and engagement not seen before in written media.
But most of all, I am personally thankful for my extended, modern family. Even if two of my daughters somehow became Arizona Wildcats, much to my chagrin. I love them, but I hope they are bitterly disappointed tomorrow afternoon. :)
Happy Thanksgiving, 'Muricans!