Newsroom Notes: Warrick's Season High Lifts Suns Over Wizards
Posted: Dec. 5, 2010
How a player responds after his coach suddenly limits his minutes can be telling. After a lackluster performance against Denver last Sunday, Hakim Warrick's name wasn't called that often in the ensuing two outings.
But when it was called Sunday, he responded with vigor, racking up a season-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting in 28 minutes as the Suns rolled to a 125-108 victory over the visiting Wizards. If Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry was looking for more inspired play from Warrick, he certainly received it.
“No matter what, when you’re number is called, you want to show that you’re ready,” Warrick said. “I tried to just keep my head up and when my number got called, I just tried to go out there and perform.”
The 6-9 forward poured in 18 points in the first half alone, repeatedly dunking off of pick-and-roll passes from Steve Nash. It was a far cry from the combined six points and 16 minutes he accumulated in his past two games.
For the Suns, Sunday’s contest was a mirror-image of Friday’s win over the Pacers. After trading baskets in the first half and allowing the Wizards to shoot 54 percent from the floor in the first half, the Suns came out motivated in the third period, limiting the Wizards to just 17 points.
The Suns would outscore them by 14 in the quarter, heading into the fourth ahead by 17. In the second half, the Wizards only shot 46 percent, including a third period that saw them shoot just 6-for-17 (35 percent) from the floor.
“We forced them to shoot a lot of jump shots and they just missed shots,” Gentry said. “Then we were able to get out and run off of the rebounds on the offensive end.”
Nash was his typical self, totaling 20 points and 17 assists on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting in 30 minutes.
“He’ll make it easy for you,” Warrick said of Nash. “He’s a great point guard and does a great job of feeding you. He makes it look easy, but there aren’t many point guards that get you the ball the way he does and have you be able to go and finish.”
Jason Richardson, who came into Sunday shooting over 60 percent from the floor, as well as over 60 percent from behind the arc in the last four games, tallied 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 shooting from three-point land.
The Suns hope that he stays hot when Phoenix visits Portland on Tuesday.
In the world of soccer, the under-17 Turkish National Team was in town to play in the 2010 Development Academy Winter Showcase and Nike International Friendlies at the Reach 11 Sports Complex in Phoenix this past week. The event kicked off on Wednesday, December 1 with the national teams of the U.S., Brazil, the Korean Republic and Turkey playing each other in a six-game round-robin format.
During a free night on Friday, the Turkish National Team came over to see fellow-countryman Hedo Turkoglu and the Suns face off against the Pacers. The team, which was sitting just below Club Annexus, had their tickets paid for by Turkoglu.
The Suns forward said that it was the least he could do for a bunch of kids representing his country.
“I’m the national-team captain over there so support me,” Turkoglu said. ”This is how we do in our tradition. Older guys look after younger guys and I’m willing to do that anytime and everywhere.”
We're Going Streaking
Two of the Suns starters have quietly put together a couple of nice offensive streaks recently.
Before last game’s eight-point performance, Grant Hill had scored in double figures in nine-straight games. It was his longest streak since scoring in 10-straight games from November 30-December 7, 2007.
Thanks to averaging 17.2 points on 57-percent shooting from the floor over this 10-game tear, Hill is now averaging 14.1 ppg. for the season. Only five other players have ever averaged 14 more point a game past the age of 38: Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller and Robert Parrish.
Meanwhile, Channing Frye set a career high after scoring in double figures in 11-straight games. Much of the reason for Frye’s improved production can be attributed to him becoming a starter 10 games ago.
The streak surpassed his previous high of 10 games during the 2006-07 season. Coming into Sunday, Frye was averaging 14.6 points on 54-percent shooting from the floor and 46-percent shooting from behind the arc as a starter.
However, Frye’s streak came to an end Sunday after scoring just seven points.
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