By: Holly MacKenzie
When it rains it pours and last night it may have been snowy in Utah but it was pouring buckets all over the Phoenix Suns. Gosh that was an ugly game. Ugly, ugly ugly. It almost physically hurt to see Banks shooting airballs and hearing the crowd taunt him. I don’t even want to talk about the game but I’m with the TNT boys who said they’ve got to find a way to give more people more playing time in Phx. Even if only to be prepared for games like this, besides trying to get the starters some rest. D’Antoni has been saying it forever but, it doesn’t appear likely to happen.
I also agree with Kenny on wanting the Golden State home crowd as your own if the game was on the line. Those fans are crazy and they are 100% behind their guys.
It was nice to see Caron Butler on the TNT after show. I wish the Lakers had been able to keep him. He is a fighter and I am happy to see him playing so well in Washington these past two seasons. I wonder how he really feels about playing without Gil right now. The straw chewing thing is weird, though.
The more I hear about the ASG the more hyped I get. I hate that for every year older I get, my favorite players that I’ve grown up watching get a year older and a year closer to retiring as well. I have this huge fear or not being able to see all of my favorites play before they all hang up their shoes.
I tackled the Phoenix/Utah recap below, but, because it pained me so much it is very brief. For a good look at the game some great insight and observations, check out Lang’s Suns @ Jazz edition of the links.
Okay, onto the recaps and then onto the weekend. Have a good one, and we’ll talk on Monday about the weekend games!
Detroit 90 San Antonio 80
In the match up of the night the Detroit Pistons took down the Spurs 90-85 in San Antonio. After dropping their last two the Pistons came out focused and were ready to make a statement and did so immediately, holding San Antonio to only 15 points in the first quarter as they led 30-15 after one. This first quarter lead came from a 16-0 Detroit run to close the quarter and the Pistons did not trail again in the game. For the first three quarters of the game the Pistons ran circles around the Spurs going up by as many as 20 points as both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili struggled from the floor. San Antonio fought back and at the start of the fourth were down nine, 67-58. With 2:30 left in the game, the Spurs got within eight on a Ginobili free throw, but they would not get any closer as both Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace scored on layups to put the Pistons up by double-digits and protect the win. Wallace led the way for Detroit with 23 points and 15 rebounds as Richard Hamilton scored 18 and Tayshaun Prince added 17. Tim Duncan was the lone bright spot for the Spurs with 24 points and 15 boards as Parker finished with 12 points on only 4-13 field goals, Ginobili added 10 on 3-12 shooting and Jaque Vaughn scored 11.
Sacramento 116 Memphis 113
While each team took turns going up by as many as 10 points in the contest, it was the Memphis Grizzlies who were leading by 10 midway through the fourth quarter on the road. With the game on the line Sacramento rattled off a 10-2 run to take the lead and outscored Memphis 35-28 in the period to steal the victory. The Kings took the lead on a three-pointer by Francisco Garcia with seven seconds in the game for their first lead since the second quarter of the game. After taking the 114-113 lead, Memphis went scoreless after a Rudy Gay turnover and on Sacramento’s next possession Paul Gasol sent Brad Miller to the line with two seconds on the clock. Miller hit both free throws and with a chance to tie the game, Gasol turned the ball over as Sacramento got the come from behind victory. Miller finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds while John Salmons was the player of the game with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Beno Udrih had 25 points and Garcia added 22. Rudy Gay had 31 points for Memphis, Pau Gasol scored 19 and Mike Miller had 18 points. Mike Conley Jr. added 15 points.
Utah 108 Phoenix 86
Without Steve Nash, Shawn Marion and Grant Hill the Suns knew they would have their hands full with the Utah Jazz. They didn’t realize just how bad things can get when you are playing without three starters and are coming off of a grind it out overtime win the night before. Utah did not plan on wasting any time in letting them know how the game was going to end as they gave the Suns as much as they could handle in the opening quarter before rising above the Phoenix Squad and leaving them in the dust. Down 58-48 at the half, the Suns tried to match the energy of the Jazz but were knocked back in the third as Utah outscored Phoenix 28-12 in the quarter to take complete control and turn the game into a rout. In the decisive quarter the Suns managed only five field goals as Utah finished the period by scoring seven straight and went into the fourth up 86-60. Without Nash running the offense the Suns were at a loss shooting only 36% from the floor in their lowest scoring game of the season. Mehmet Okur had 22 points and 17 rebounds for the Jazz as Ronnie Brewer added 21 points and Carlos Boozer scored 18. Leandro Barbosa had 25 points for the Suns but shot only 7-18 for the game. Amare Stoudemire finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds and Marcus Banks added 9.