Top 5 Games of the Season
May 29, 2014
Five wins was more than a quarter of Vegas' predicted victories for Phoenix this season. Turns out we had trouble picking out just five to make a best games of the year list.
That didn't stop us from doing it, however. Whether it was Goran Dragic doing his thing, Eric Bledsoe flourishing in a new role or Gerald Green catching fire, the 2013-14 campaign was full of memorable wins.
October 30 vs. Portland
The Blazers weren’t considered a playoff-quality team at the time, but hindsight has proven otherwise since Portland’s recent run to the second round of the postseason.
Phoenix trumped the dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge with a less-heralded pair of their own in Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe. The two shot down any and all preseason doubts about their ability to co-exist as a backcourt of two points guards, combining for 48 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds.
Combine that with Miles Plumlee’s coming out party (18 points, 15 rebounds) and Jeff Hornacek’s first win as an NBA head coach, and Phoenix clearly got off on the right and odds-defying foot.
December 15 vs. Golden State
When Stephen Curry’s shot is dropping to the point where the road crowd is both delighted and despairing at the same time, chances are the Warriors are winning.
The Suns flipped the script on that storyling, countering Curry’s 30 pointswith a combined 45 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and seven steals from Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic.
The final play to clinch the game, however, was made on the defensive end. Curry had a chance to tie with 23 seconds left, but found himself being guarded by P.J. Tucker on a pick-and-roll switch. The Suns’ bulldog defender stymied the Warriors’ All-Star into a poor-quality attempt from straightaway, causing the miss that allowed Phoenix to pull away for the win.
December 30 at L.A. Clippers
There was so much hype surrounding Eric Bledsoe’s return to Los Angeles that Goran Dragic could have felt forgotten.
He sure played like it. The other half of the Suns’ backcourt ignited an up-tempo offense that simply left Lob City floored. Dragic’s 26 points, eight assists and five steals fueled Phoenix’s transition game while the team defense held every Clipper to 15 points or less.
The victory capped off the 2013 calendar year with the Suns’ 19th win – the number of victories Las Vegas had Phoenix winning over the course of the entire season.
January 30 at Indiana
Phoenix had already made a statement by beating the Pacers at home just nine days earlier, so no one was getting greedy by predicting a repeat outcome.
Except the Suns.
Dragic led the way with a slashing game even Roy Hibbert’s feared rim defense couldn’t stop. The Slovenian playmaker finished with 28 points and got a combined 31 points’ worth of help from the Morris twins off the bench.
The result: a 102-94 win over the then 35-9 Pacers that handed them just their second home loss of the season.
March 6 vs. Oklahoma City
The Thunder looked well on their way to another quality win at Phoenix’s expense.
Then Gerald Green happened.
The journeyman sharp-shooter torpedoed OKC to the tune of 41 points, including a whopping 25 in the third quarter. He took equal advantage of his opportunities from beyond the arc (8-for-13) and at the free throw line (9-of-11).
Throw in a ho-hum 24 and 22 points from Markieff Morris and Goran Dragic respectively, and the Suns got just enough offense to trump Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (70 points combined) in a big late-season win.