Last night, the Phoenix Suns got back into the win column at home against the Utah Jazz. The Suns, who for all intents and purposes are already out of the playoff race, were playing for pride at this point...and a winning record.
Phoenix had slipped to 38-38 on the season prior to last night's victory, and a loss would have put them under the .500 mark for the first time since December, and tied their longest losing streak of the season. The Suns were able to avoid both...at least for now.
Although Gerald Green was the man of the hour, scoring 24 points on 10 of 17 shooting in just 21 minutes of play, the Green one slipped quietly out of the locker room while it looked like he was still getting dressed...never to return.
I guess Gerald let his play do the talking for him last night. This was his best game by far since before the All-Star break, after all but falling out of the rotation altogether, and registering more DNPs than double-digit scoring games in that time.
Even though we weren't able to talk to Gerald, some of the other players stuck around to give us their thoughts about the game. Here's what they had to say:
Eric talked about Gerald's hot shooting and how it gave the team the boost that they needed. He also complimented the play of Brandan Wright who has been doing a great job filling in for Alex Len, who is out with a broken nose. The Suns certainly couldn't have won tonight's game without either of them.
Brandan talked about getting more comfortable with his teammates and establishing chemistry which is translating into more effective and efficient games for him. Wright not only scored 13 points on the night, he had 4 blocks and 3 steals to go with his 3 rebounds as well. Although he was outmatched on the glass by the longer Gobert and the stronger Favors, he found other ways to contribute and help the team get the win.
Tucker talked about still not being satisfied with the defense tonight, despite holding the Jazz to just 39% from the field. He also talked about the Suns finally getting away with a win without suffering another buzzer-beating loss, as has happened five times this season (six if you count Golden State's shot with 0.4 seconds left). in addition, he talked about liking the challenge of guarding bigger players like Favors, which should be no surprise considering P.J.'s toughness.
And there you have it. A win is a win, and if nothing else, it sows that this team still has a lot of fight left in them. Make no mistake, the Jazz are a good team right now and have been playing great since the All-Star break. So enjoy the victory!
And a Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates it!