The Suns came out sluggish, but eventually pulled away from the New York Knickerbockers behind a near-triple-double by Eric Bledsoe.
Bledsoe had 21 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds. Brandan Wright had 18 points, 11 rebounds. Archie Goodwin had a nice game off the bench for 7 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.
It was a much-needed win for their psyche.
The Suns started the game as you would expect. Wanting to do well, but not being sure of their movements or passes. They had four turnovers in the first six minutes of the game.
But the effort was there. Markieff Morris had steals on the first two Knicks possessions and the Suns played hard. They just couldn't execute.
The game was really ragged. I mean, really ragged. The Suns were frustrated with themselves, and the Knicks were playing however they could to compete.
Soon, the Suns were down 20-16 and you had to wonder if this would be an awful game all night long.
Then it was 29-18... before the Suns scored the last five of the quarter and went into the second quarter down 29-23.
Welp, the second quarter featured more of the first quarter stuff, except a bit of Gerald Green too. And Earl Barron.
But it was sloppy, ugly basketball. Looked like a preseason game where all the real NBA players are held out and the hangers-on get lots of run regardless of the score.
Even when the Suns starting lineup came back on the court, they had trouble putting good possessions together.
The Suns had 8 turnovers in the half, but it felt like 30.
Luckily, the Knicks are a really awful team and the Suns were able to claw back - thanks to Eric Bledsoe - into the game by halftime.
Bledsoe pulled the Suns to within one at halftime, 48-47, on a driving slam dunk.
Leaders at half:
- Bledsoe put up 11 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal to carry the Suns
- Markieff Morris had 11 as well, with 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
- Brandan Wright had 7 points and 8 rebounds
The Suns started the third quarter with an offensive foul/turnover (Markieff Morris) and once again had trouble scoring. But by this time it felt like the Knicks were taking a major step back, and the Suns were building a lead behind Eric Bledsoe's efforts.
The Suns lead got up to 61-53 before Shved made a broken-play three ball and then Shane Larkin made a shot to pull the Knicks back within three.
Suns are going for assists on fast breaks lately, just sometimes way too afar under the basket to make anything happen. Suns luckily got bailed out on one (goaltend) to take a 65-58 lead back.
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The Suns stretched the lead to 75-66 on the back of EARL BARRON, who made a couple of mid-range shots then took a heat-check three (missed) before the quarter ended. LOL.
Archie Goodwin came in to run the point to start the fourth, with T.J. Warren, Tucker and the Morrii.
Warren had the early play of the 4th, flying in from out of nowhere to get an offensive board, taking it from a Knick, landing, dribbling once to get his balance, and then finish with a simple looking layup. There were at least two Knicks going whaaaa?
The Knicks stayed close thanks to Andrea Bargnani's jumpers and Lance Thomas' aggressive play.
The Suns pulled out to a 12-point lead when Bledsoe came back in, feeding Tucker for a three and then taking the midrange jumper on the next possession.
The end of the game became more about Bledsoe getting a triple double than anything else. He pulled to within two boards with just over 3 minutes left, to go along with 21 points and 10 assists. At least two of those boards were contested (by his own teammates). He was quite aggressive.