While new Suns head coach Earl Watson refused to take the bait (“I don’t make it a habit to communicate with coaches during the season”) as did Jeff Hornacek (“Just another game”), you know that both the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks saw this as an important game.
Eric Bledsoe scored 30+ in his third consecutive game, and had 30+ and 8 assists in back-to-back games - both are firsts for his career.
Tyson Chandler had 20+ in back-to-back games for the first time this season, and Marquese Chriss had his first double-double by halftime of his young career.
But much of the credit went to P.J. Tucker for helping shut down Carmelo Anthony long enough for the Suns to pull out the win.
Miss the game? Here’s the highlights.
For the Suns, they needed to show themselves that they could close out a game they led in the third quarter. The players are just as frustrated as anyone.
Hear Tucker talk about defending Anthony and helping the Suns refuse to lose after blowing another lead.
Old is just a word
In the process, Tyson Chandler defied his age to grab 20+ boards in consecutive games for the second time in 2016. No Phoenix Sun had ever grabbed 20+ in back-to-back games in franchise history, and now Chandler has done it twice.
“I need a nap,” he joked.
Chandler talks about mentoring Chriss and the young guys, giving them an example of how to carry yourself game to game.
From old to young
Chandler knows he has to teach guys like Marquese Chriss how to control their emotions and stay focused on the game at hand.
Chriss had a double-double by halftime for the first time in his young career.
“Sometimes that happens,” he said simply.
Coach Watson had some nice comments about P.J. Tucker, Chandler and Chriss.