The Phoenix Suns survived an awful shooting night by making just enough to beat the struggling Pelicans, winning by a miniscule 74-72 margin.
Tyreke Evans missed the go-ahead 10-footer with 2.6 left, giving the Suns a chance to close it out, but Tucker rebounded the ball and made a free throw to make it a 2-point game.
After four quarters.
Not a misprint.
Heres the coach, probably, for the parts of the game he wasn't up and yelling.
The Suns started the game shooting and missing jumpers, and got down 10-4 within the first four minutes in a fairly uninspired start.
The Suns were down 12-8 when T.J. Warren checked in to pair with P.J. Tucker on the wings and the Suns went on a 9-0 run thanks to their movement on and off the ball.
The Suns maintained the lead, ending the quarter at 21-15 with Archie running point the last 2+ minutes.
P.J. Tucker led the Suns with 7 points. Eric Bledsoe had 2 points and 1 assist, but also 4 rebounds and a steal.
Guys too young to even remember 1991-92 did most of the scoring at the start of the second quarter for the Suns, as Archie Goodwin (20) put in 8 points and T.J. Warren (21) scored 4 as the Suns stretched the lead to 9 at one point.
The game loaded with poor shooting though, from both teams. The Pelicans were shooting about 38% for the game last in the second quarter, when Tyreke Evans went down with his own ankle injury for a moment. He lay on the ground for several minutes, but then subbed back in a couple possessions later.
The Suns regulars returned to hold onto that 9-point lead in a basically ugly first half. The Pelicans shot 34.9% while the Suns shot just 41.9%. The Pelicans and Suns combined for 2 for 18 on three pointers.
Suns up 43-34 at halftime.
It started sloppy again, just like the first half, with each team struggling to score and settling for too many jumpers.
The Suns briefly took a (yawn) 11 point lead, but then the Pelicans went on a (yawn) 7-0 run to cut the lead to 4. Neither team seemed engaged offensively.
Doesn't help to go 1-14 on threes. NOLA was backing off every jumper, and the Suns weren't making them pay.
Bledsoe was playing great on defense still (7 rebounds, 4 steals) but awful on offense (5 points on 2/12 shooting, 2 assists).
The Suns had a comfortable 10-point lead, but then the Pelicans went on an 8-0 run to end the quarter down only 55-53.
Eric Bledsoe, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris finished the third quarter a combined 5-for-29 from the floor on the night.
I repeat. FIVE FOR TWENTY NINE.
It took about 30 seconds for the Pelicans to take the lead on two easy scores at the hoop, but then Gerald Green drew a foul call and MADE A THREE to put the Suns back up 2 points.
That three by Gerald was the Suns second out of 17 tries on the night.
When Markieff Morris made an old-fashioned three-point play, the Pelicans' Luke Babbitt answered with a three of his own to tie it up again.
The game remained tied through the next several minutes of further uninspiring play.
If it weren't for Brandan Wright, neither team would win this game. Wright had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks in 35 minutes. It helped a LOT that Anthony Davis was out and Omer Asik missed most of the second half.
Markieff Morris made a HUGE jumper with 51.4 left to put the Suns up 4 points.
And the crowd cheered. Loud. I mean, really loud. They were so starved for a made basket, they couldn't help themselves I guess.