Hot-Shooting Suns Dominate Clippers

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Throughout the course of every NBA season, there will be a select few games where everything seems to click.

The hoop becomes the size of an ocean.

Balls bounce your way.

Shots seem to fall from any spot on the court.

Indeed, tonight was the quintessential example of one of those rare, magnificent evenings for the Suns.

In a 107-88 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles Clippers, the Suns demonstrated why they are officially a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.

Led by Goran Dragic’s 26 points, eight assists and five steals in Eric Bledsoe’s return to Los Angeles, Phoenix dominated every facet of the game beginning with an impressive 9-0 start led by three steals on the Clippers’ first four possessions.

“It was just one of those nights,” Jeff Hornacek said after the game. “I thought our defense and energy was some of the best we’ve seen this season.”

The Suns had 26 assists, 17 steals and nine blocks compared to the Clippers’ 17 assists, eight steals and four blocks.

Phoenix also shot 48 percent from the field.

Perhaps more impressive than the Suns’ offense was what they were able to do on the defensive end of the floor. The Suns forced Blake Griffin and Chris Paul into just 10-of-29 shooting and a combined eight turnovers. Phoenix forced Los Angeles into just 36 percent shooting from the floor and 35 percent beyond the arc.

Of the Clippers’ 20 turnovers, 17 of those came from a Phoenix steal.

Gerald Green was absolutely on fire from downtown hitting a game-high 5-of-10 from deep off the bench on his way to 21 points.

“We wanted to set the tone early defensively,” Green added. “Basketball is about a team. We wanted to make it hard on them. Today was a good day for us; a lot of guys made shots and made the extra effort on both ends of the floor.

“It was a great way to end 2013.”

The Suns went 10-3 in the month of December and have won 10 of their last 12 after a 9-9 start. They trail the Clippers by a half-game for the top spot.