Previous week’s games
11/06/09 SUNS 110, Celtics 103
11/08/09 SUNS 102, Wizards 90
11/09/09 SUNS 119, 76ers 115
11/11/09 SUNS 124, Hornets 104
Next week’s games
11/12/09 SUNS @ Lakers, 8:30 p.m., TNT
11/15/09 SUNS vs Raptors, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Arizona
11/17/09 SUNS @ Rockets, 6:30 p.m., My45
Remember that brutal, early, five-games-in-seven-nights road trip out East the Suns had? The one that included stops in Miami, Orlando and Boston. You know the one I’m talking about, right? The one where two wins would have been satisfactory. Yeah, that’s the one. Turns out the Suns actually went 4-1 on that trip. Don’t believe me? Look it up. But, there was a lot more to that road trip than just the wins. It’s how the team won.
In Miami, the Suns fought through a mediocre first three quarters, and closed it out with a dominating fourth. They finished the final 12 minutes with something we haven’t seen from them before: zone defense. It threw the Heat out of whack, and held them to 23% shooting from the floor in the final quarter. Pretty impressive.
Then it was off was to Boston, where things just got better. The Suns controlled the Celtics from start to finish, taking the lead with 1:23 or so to go in the first, and never looking back. Phoenix once again did it with a strong closing quarter, holding the previously unbeaten Celtics to 20 points in the fourth. It also helped that the Suns dropped 110 on the Celtics — 20 more than Boston had allowed all year.
Next up was a day game in the nation’s capital. This could have easily been a letdown game for the Suns, coming off the huge win in Boston. Instead, the Suns came out and did what they had to do. They struggled some, but played well enough to get the W. Oh, and did I mention they held the Wizards to just 19 points in the final period?
Finally, the trip concluded with a grind-it-out win over the Sixers in Philadelphia. Weird to call it a grind-out win with a final score of 119-115, but that’s what it felt like. The Suns overcame a 16-point deficit, thanks in large part to the play of Jared Dudley, to get the victory. The 21 points and 20 assists from Steve Nash didn’t hurt either.
So, what did the Suns do when they came back home? Just beat the New Orleans Hornets by 20 with a national television audience watching on ESPN. The Suns did so by owning the glass on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and with an impressive showing from the second unit. Goran Dragic had a near triple double off the bench to lead the reserves. Phoenix also had eight players in double-figure scoring. After the game, Jason Richardson said, “Funny thing is, we haven’t even started to run yet.” I can’t wait to see what this team is like when they start running.
Tonight, the Suns face a huge challenge in the LA Lakers. I know, it’s early in the season, but this is definitely a big game for Phoenix. The Suns have the opportunity to not only prove to the world that they’re much more than an afterthought, but they also have a chance to prove it to themselves. There’s no doubt in my mind that if the Suns continue to play with the effort that they have been, they can take the Lakers.
Suns go green
On Wednesday, US Airways Center was powered by green renewable energy from APS, coinciding with the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo that is in Phoenix this week. The Suns had lots of fun giveaways promoting clean energy, including one entire section winning compact fluorescent light bulbs. Five dollars from every ticket purchased through a promotion of APS went to Luke Air Force Bases’ Live Green Program.
In addition to the promotion of renewable energy, the Suns debuted the Lou Amundson Bike Valet. The bike valet parking is available to ticket holders for $1, and is located on the parking lot at the southwest corner of 3rd and Jefferson streets. The valet is open two hours before tip-off and operates for an hour after the conclusion of the game.