Led by 8 scorers in double figures (almost 9), the Phoenix Suns completely embarrassed the Portland Trailblazers Tuesday night in Phoenix, 130-85. Boris Diaw nearly had a triple-double and James Jones contributed over 20 points for the Suns, who won their 7th straight.
The Suns shot almost 56% in the victory and held Portland to 38% FG and 17% 3PT FG's. Phoenix also outrebounded the 'Jailblazers' by 16 (53-37) and continue to lead the league in assists per game (33 tonight), compared with only 14 from Portland. Particularly pathetic was Sebastian Telfair, Portland's PG - he finished the game 12 points, 1 rebound and 0 assists. Compare that with Nash's 12 assists or Diaw's 13. Hell, even Pat Burke managed to get an assist off the Phoenix bench. The Suns also had an uncharacteristic 15 blocks in the game, led by 3 players with at least 3 blocks each.
The Suns will face the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night (in GS). Both teams are on winning streaks, so someone is going to be disappointed at the end.
The Suns were up 17 at halftime and nearly squandered the game by allowing Denver to come back and lead in the 3rd quarter. Luckily, Phoenix has Eddie House who saved the game on this day. Led by House's energy and scoring, the Suns went on a 12-0 run to put the game out of reach for the Nuggets, who were without George Karl (suspended for 2 games).
Top Phoenix players:
“Shawn Marion led the balanced Suns' offense with 22 points and 11 rebounds, Steve Nash added 21 points and 10 assists, Thomas had a season-high 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Boris Diaw scored 15.” - From FoxSports.com
The Joe Johnson trade is looking better every day for Phoenix. Boris Diaw is nearly matching all of Johnson's stats from a year ago and is playing solid ball. To top it off, the Suns also got two 1st round picks from the Hawks, which considering their ineptness right now, should give Phoenix a pretty good draft pick in 2006.
I have to throw another Joe Johnson comment in here... He finally had the type of game that Atlanta was hoping to see out of him on Friday, but the rest of the team stunk it up and they lost to the worst team in the league, Toronto. Joe's box score: 14-23 FG, 3-3 FT, 3-4 3PT, 6 RB, 10 AST, 3 TO. If he could keep this up or even 3/4 of it, he has a chance to make the All-Star team... but he'll probably just represent Atlanta as their freebie selection.
The Suns are 9-5, which puts them at 7th in the playoff standings. Yes it's a long ways away, but staying in the playoff race early will ensure they'll be there at the end of the season (after Amare returns and kicks everyone's ***).
This isn't too surprising considering Brian's long history with injuries. I think the Suns probably expected this during some point in the season. Without Amare Stoudemire and now Brian Grant, however, Phoenix suddenly looks very week on in the inside game. Kurt Thomas has only been playing so-so and there's really no one else available.
“Phoenix Suns reserve forward Brian Grant needs arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee and will likely be sidelined for up to three months. Grant, 33, said Thursday that Suns team doctor Thomas Carter will perform the operation Friday to clean out any calcification in the tendon of the knee and any floating bodies within the joint. Grant, an 11-year NBA veteran, signed with Phoenix as a free agent in August after seeing limited playing time last season for the Los Angeles Lakers because of a neck injury and knee tendinitis. In nine games for the Suns this season, Grant averaged 3.3 points and 1.7 rebounds.”
The Suns have struggled to their 8-5 record, but with basically a small lineup on the floor every night, they're really not doing too bad. Let's just hope they can keep it up until Amare returns.