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Knight, Bledsoe too much for short-handed Clippers as Phoenix Suns cruise to 118-104 win

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The Suns rolled past the Clippers' B-squad with a huge outing from their backcourt.

Suns guard Brandon Knight, seen here not pushing off with his off-hand at all
Suns guard Brandon Knight, seen here not pushing off with his off-hand at all
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns already had every reason to end their eight-game losing streak against the Los Angeles Clippers, who started the game without Chris Paul and J.J. Redick. After Blake Griffin was ejected in the second quarter after receiving his second technical of the game, they almost had to win big.

They didn't disappoint.

Eric Bledsoe dominated the first half with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, and the Suns withstood an offensive lull in the second quarter to maintain a slight edge on the Clippers. In the waning minutes of the half, Griffin received a technical foul -- his second of the game -- for arguing for a foul after making a basket. The Clippers never seemed to regain their focus after that, and even with Bledsoe heading to the bench with foul trouble early in the third quarter, they were simply overmatched by Brandon Knight and the Suns, despite winning the garbage-time battle in the fourth quarter to make the final score respectable.

Knight tied a career high with 37 points on the night (6-10 from 3) and the game quickly turned into a rout, with the tired and short-handed Clippers unable to keep up. The Suns also were without a few players as the game wore on, with Markieff Morris playing only 6 minutes due to a mild knee sprain, Ronnie Price leaving early with a concussion after running into a Josh Smith screen, and Devin Booker and Sonny Weems busting eachother's heads open in the 4th quarter.

The Suns shot 53% from the floor, 14-30 from three, and won the rebounding battle 46-37. Bledsoe came close to a quadruple-double, finishing with 26 points (on only 13 FGA), 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 8 turnovers. T.J. Warren contributed 18 points in 25 minutes, and Jon Leuer added a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

They might not face a backcourt more ill-equipped to defend the Suns' guard attack all season than the one the Clippers were forced to trot out tonight, but they took full advantage and left no doubt throughout the second half.

The rest can be summed up by Bright Side of the Sun's spirit animal, Sreekar.

The Suns next tip off against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday at the Stick.

Game Notes

1st Quarter

  • Suns start with a missed long two-pointer by Markieff Morris just to shake things up
  • Suns going WAYYYY under the screen on Prigioni, which makes a lot of sense. Three turnovers in first four Clippers' possessions
  • Bledsoe's midrange game is on point this season
  • Suns getting all the 50/50 balls. Long OReb leads to a Tucker cornerball
  • Knight's off-dribble pull-up 3 is deadly. 23-17 Suns
  • ...but Rivers, Prigioni and Pierce have all banged home 3's for the Clippers as well
  • Jordan shook up after swatting away a Knight layup attempt...
  • Goodwin getting early minutes for the second straight game
  • Blake matched up with Len after Jordan heads to the bench. Gets freethrows on the first possession
  • Crawford attempts a halfcourt lob to Rivers because YOLO
  • Len with an awkward midrange miss...even more awkward was the Suns' decision not to get back on D. Gimme layup for Josh Smith, 28-25 Suns
  • If Eric Bledsoe isn't a star yet, he's as close as one can possibly be. 10 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and a charge taken in the first quarter

2nd Quarter

  • Price/Goodwin in the backcourt to start the quarter. Hornacek continues to not subscribe to the 'one of Bled and Knight on the floor at all times' theory
  • Len stripped on a double-team that he really should've seen coming
  • Crawford takes Teletovic in for an easy bucket, 32-31 Suns
  • Lance Stephenson is officially a Clipper -- staying on the floor an extra few seconds looking especially battered
  • Suns offense in the crapper, Clips take the lead 35-34
  • Knight and Warren wake up a bit, then Bledsoe rejoins the fun. Three straight buckets, 40-35 Suns
  • Probably not a good indicator of the Suns' home crowds that you hear players bitching to the refs during the entire telecast
  • Welly welly well, Blake Griffin got hit with a second technical foul for excessive whining. Suns absolutely, completely, positively have to win this game now or I pretty much quit
  • 22 points, 7 boards, 4 assists for Bledsoe in the half. Has our star player arrived??

3rd Quarter

  • Kieff questionable to return with a mild knee sprain, Leuer starts the half
  • Jordan and Chandler trade lob dunks to start the half. 60-51 Suns
  • I probably should mention that Brandon Knight has been en fuego with 23 points; hits a streaking layup to put the Suns up 64-54
  • Bledsoe on the bench with 4 fouls at the 8:52 mark in the third. Insert expletive here
  • Knight leaves Pierce in a heap on the floor, nails the floater, bench is all smiles as the Clips call a TO
  • Warren shows excellent body control on the drive to pick up an And-1 and then SHOWS EMOTION...WE'RE ALL DOOMED
  • PJ Tucker steals Crawford's binkie, leads to a beautiful transition finish by Leuer for the And-1, 76-59 Suns
  • Warren is destroying worlds (intentional hyperbole alert), pouring in 10 points during the current Suns run
  • Knight is all kinds of fuego tonight. 32 points, 5 triples. Clippers were never in this game mentally after the Blake ejection

4th Quarter

  • This game is a blowout and I don't care how short-handed the Clippers are. I'm happy