Suns Wake Up in Time to Defeat Rockets
The Phoenix Suns were sluggish for much of the first quarter in Houston last night which gave the depleted Rockets team a chance to jump on the streaking Western Conference powerhouse before ultimately falling to the more dominant Suns 100-91. Nothing would fall for the visiting Suns in the early stages of the game, not even point blank Amare Stoudemire layups. The lack of rhythm also fueled a Rockets team to play hard and fast as they built an early, 15 point lead.
The Rockets hard work, however did not pay off as the superior team eventually found a way to win in the fourth behind the heroics of two time MVSteve. The Suns somehow managed to close the gap the Rockets created in the first half and keep it close until the fourth quarter when Steve went on a scoring binge, fueled by big blocks and rebounding by Amare and Shawn, that secured the win.
On a night when the Suns were struggling to make shots, somehow the three pointers were dropping easier than anything else and that is the difference in this game. The Suns shot 50% from three but only 47% from the field against a very good defensive Rockets team.
The Rockets forced 10 steals and 18 turnovers but it wasn't enough without their stars, they couldn't get it done. Everyone on the Suns who tried shot the three ball well. Combine that with timely stops and controlling the paint in the fourth and that's how we pulled out a win.
Big up to Raja and Leandro for knocking down threes like it's their job. Wait, it is their job. Much respect to Amare and Shawn for dominating the paint and winning the rebounding battle for us, it doesn't happen often and I want to savor it.
My favorite moment of the game is when the Rockets were out on a fast break and the Brazilian Blur glided 80 feet across court just to arrive in time for a nasty block at the hoop. Regardless of the really poor play call, a goaltend, this block was highlight reel worthy. It was, without a doubt, a clean block and just an impressive display of athleticism and desire by Leandro. My hat's off to you Leo.
Must I say it again? This is a great team. Winning unlikely games when nothing goes their way. Clutch performances, defensive stops, and desire. The Suns are now 17-0 when holding the opponent to under 100 points. Don't look now but that makes it 11 straight wins and counting with a favorable schedule coming up that could let us push it further and further. We do have a Eastern road trip coming up but they are all winnable games, especially the Washington game, because the Suns have a little something for Gilbert Arenas.
The Suns have been growing out beards during this win streak, even Boris who is having some difficulty. Where were they last win streak when I hadn't shaved for a good three weeks for this very reason?