This game was a perfect sequel to the Phoenix Suns' victory over the New Orleans Pelicans two nights ago. After scrapping out a win in a game inwhich none of their shots were going in, Phoenix couldn't miss for the first 3 quarters against the Rockets. With the exception of a brief lull to start the second quarter, Phoenix scorched the nets.
Eric Bledsoe led all scorers with 34 points, all of which came as the Suns filled the buckets to the tune of 99 points in the first 3 quarters. P.J. Tucker did work at both ends, locking up James Harden (16 points, 5/19 FG, a game worst -27) and adding 19 points on a hella efficient 8-12 shooting night.
Even when the offense stagnated in the 4th quarter, the Suns never rattled. Despite managing a paltry SIX POINTS in NINE MINUTES, the Suns' lead never got below 5. There was nothing not to like about Phoenix's effort in this game. They straight out-hustled and out-executed the Rockets. All this lead to a 117-102 victory against one of the league's best teams.
Great win for the Suns. Next up are the Mavericks tomorrow night.
Other quick notes:
* The Morris twins were terrific, chipping in 17 points apiece while Marcus had another big rebounding night, snaring 10 boards.
* Alex Len showed a LOT of rust coming back from his ankle injury. He made 2 of his 10 field goal attemtps. Meanwhile, Brandan Wright is going to make a great starter for someone next season. His 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks don't convey the energy he brings at both ends.
* The Suns look active, if not efficient, to start the game.
* Hopefully this holds: Harden flops like a trout on a drive, refs don't bite.
* Rough night for the Suns' centers so far: both Alex Len and Brand Wright missed dunks on their first possessions.
* Rockets' center Joey Dorsey picks up his second foul only 5 minutes into the first quarter. With Dwight Howard out, that could open up some opportunities in the paint for Phoenix!
* Eric Bledsoe and P.J. Tucker hit back-to-back 3s to pull within 2 points. Also, the Suns made 2 3-pointers!
* Welp, the Suns get a case of the dropsies. 2 turnovers later, Phoenix is down by 7 again.
*PJ to TJ fastbreak! Archie PUJIT! The kids are all right!
* The good news: Phoenix scored 33 points in the first quarter. The bad news: Houston scored 37. But hey, shots are falling!
* The Suns' offense stalls with A.J. Price at the helm. Suns go scoreless for first 2 and half minutes while Houston runs the lead up to 10. Bledsoe stops the bleeding with a pair of free throws.
* Suns start second quarter by scoring 3 points in 4 minutes, then score 6 in the next 60 seconds. More of the latter please.
* Turnovers + Transition = Points. Suns rattle of 12 points in a row to get back within 1.
* Phoenix is doing some strong work on the boards. Have had sizeable rebounding margin throughout the game.
* So much to like about this game so far. Eric Bledsoe is beasting. Phoenix is playing a fantastic all around game, winning the battle of the glass, not fouling, and holding Harden to 10 points on 4-12 shooting. All of that gives Phoenix a 1-point lead, 62-61, going into the second half.
* Also helping the cause: the Suns had 18 free throw attempts to 7 by the Rockets. Attacking the basket and not fouling are reaping big rewards for the Suns so far.
* Not a lot of defense from either team to start the 3rd. Teams combine for 16 points in the first 2 minutes. Everyone is making everything.
* Suns offense suddenly goes bananas, scoring on TEN consecutive possessions to run the lead up 9. 84-75, Phoenix.
* So much defense. Suns getting pretty points on turnovers. All your leak-outs are belong to us.
* Two minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Suns have a 12 point lead and oodles of momentum. Time to sweep the leg, Johnny.
* Archie Goodwin fast break dunks are very very fun. So are Brandan Wright put-back dunks. Suns by 13.
* After scoring 74 points in their last whole game, Phoenix has 99 and a 13 point lead after 3 quarters tonight.
* Rough start to the 4th. After making their first bucket, Suns give up 7 in a row to see their lead dwindle to 8 in the first 2 minutes.
* Suns go to a 3 guard line-up: Price, Bledsoe, Goodwin, Markieff Morris and Brandan Wright.
* 3 guard line-up brings no offense. Suns only manage to score 6 points in the first 7 minutes of the 4th quarter. Yet somehow still lead by 5 points.
* THANK YOU, BASED TUCKER. After a horrendous 9 minute, 6 point offensive stretch, PJ Tucker buries a 3 pointer to put the Suns back up by 8.