Newsroom Notes: Suns Lock Down Bucks
Posted: Feb. 2, 2011
Don’t look now, but the Suns are picking up some momentum. After coming into Wednesday’s game winners of two straight over definite playoff teams, the Suns did what they hadn’t done consistently recently, which is put away a non-playoff team on their home floor when they captured a 92-77 victory over the visiting Bucks.
“I think, defensively, we’re getting better,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said. “The last ten games we have given up less than 45 percent shooting; that puts us in the top ten and I thought we started out the game really focused and doing what we needed to do.”
Holding Milwaukee to an ice-cold 24-percent shooting in the first half, the Suns leapt out to a 52-31 lead at the half by owning the battle of the paint. The Suns out-rebounded the Bucks by 10 in the first half, while outscoring them by 20 in the paint.
By halftime, Steve Nash had recorded 10 of his 13 assists (matching the entire Bucks team), while the Suns were shooting 54 percent from the floor. The Suns’ second unit, which hasn’t been as consistent as last season’s reserves with holding or increasing a lead, put Marcin Gortat (12 points) and Jared Dudley (11 points) in double figures by the end of the first half.
Unfortunately, that dominance didn’t carry over to the second half. Phoenix allowed Milwaukee to creep to within nine, forcing Gentry to bring Nash and Grant Hill back into the game at the eight-minute mark.
Once those substitutions were made, the Suns coasted to a 15-point win.
“I thought (Bucks guard) Earl Boykins just did a good job of changing the game for them with his energy,” Dudley said. “He had so many deflections and his mid-range game was killing off of the screens.
But in the second quarter we did a good job of getting stops and getting out in transition and to the free throw line.” Gortat (19 points and 11 rebounds) and Dudley (15) combined for 34 points off the bench, while Channing Frye totaled 14 points and 13 rebounds. Grant Hill was the only other Suns in double-digit scoring with 16 points.
For the night, the Suns held Milwaukee to 31-percent shooting, the lowest percentage that they’ve allowed all season. Moreover, as a franchise, Phoenix moved to 64-1 when holding opponents under 80 points in its history.
It was also the sixth time in the last eight games that the Suns have held an opponent under 43.4-percent shooting. That was a feat that Phoenix was only able to accomplish just seven times in the first 39 games.
The Suns look for their fourth-straight win when they host the Thunder on Friday.
Nash's New Endorsement
Nash's New Endorsement
Steve Nash was born in South Africa. His parents are English, his passport is Canadian and his home is in the United States. However, his new shoe deal is Chinese.
The seven-time All-Star, who still has his endorsement deal with Nike, has signed an apparel/shoe deal with Luyou, a Chinese sportswear and shoemaker manufacturer. Nash gravitated towards the company because it would create events that benefited suffering children in China.
“We were able to do a bunch of charitable things for children in China,” Nash said. “I was also able to take part in the designing of the products.”
Goldwire Gets Boost From Suns
Former NBA player Anthony Goldwire became a member of the Suns’ 2010 NBA Las Vegas Summer League staff in an attempt to work his way onto an NBA coaching staff. It didn’t take long.
Goldwire was scooped up by the Bucks as an assistant coach shortly thereafter. It turns out that the move paid off Goldwire, who spent eight years as an NBA player.
“Front-office people noticed me working with players and gaining experience,” Goldwire said. “Working with the Suns this summer definitely helped me get my job now.”
Goldwire is working in player development, helping players improve on their ballhandling and shooting skills. He focuses primarily on the guards.
No Fear of the Deer
The Suns have claimed 23-straight wins at home over the Bucks, including 18 consecutive at US Airways Center, where the Bucks have never won. The 23-straight home wins is the second-longest active streak in the NBA (the Spurs 25-straight wins over the Warriors) and marks the second-longest such streak in franchise history (24 vs. Sacramento, 1988-98).
The Bucks’ last win in the Valley of the Sun came on February 21, 1987. To put that into perspective, Steve Nash was a freshman in high school, Ronald Reagan was the President, The Simpsons cartoon first appears on The Tracy Ullman Show, the construction of the “Chunnel” was initiated, “3 Men and a Baby” was the top movie of the year, Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” was one of the top songs of the year, Walter Davis was the Suns’ leading scorer, Dan Majerle hadn’t even been drafted, two of the current Suns weren’t even born yet and the Berlin Wall was still two years away from falling.
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