Newsroom Notes: Suns Snap Slide, Oust Lakers
Posted: Feb. 19, 2012
Nothing cures a losing streak in Phoenix better than beating the Lakers.
And that’s exactly the remedy the doctor ordered Sunday in the Suns’ 102-90 home victory over their divisional rival.
“The crowd was great, there were a lot of Lakers fans, which I think pumps up our fans,” Suns point guard Steve Nash said. “We made a bunch of shots and got rolling so it made for an enjoyable evening.”
The Suns dominated from the jump, racing out to a 35-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, totaling a season-high for first-period points. In the first half alone, the Suns totaled 63 points, receiving 13 points and 11 rebounds from Marcin Gortat, 13 points from Grant Hill and 10 assists from Steve Nash.
The Suns' defense was aggressive early on, causing the Lakers to turn the ball over seven times in the first period. In addition, the Suns outscored the Lakers at the line by 12 and outrebounded their enormous frontline by five in the first half.
But while all signs pointed to a blowout, the Lakers crept to within 10 with 4:39 left in the contest. However, the Suns held would hold on, snapping a four-game regular season losing streak to the Lakers and an overall four-game skid.
After falling to the Lakers in L.A. on Friday, Dudley said coming back home with a second chance at them couldn’t have better scripted.
“I kind of prefer (playing them just after losing to them),” Dudley said. “Obviously, if you lose a game, it’s heartbreaking. But coming back home where you got these fans here, it’s good to play well in front of them and we usually do when we play against the Lakers here.”
In their league-high 12th game of the month, the Suns became the first team to reach 100 points against the Lakers since January 29. Dudley led the way with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Gortat finished with 21 points and a team-high 15 rebounds.
The Suns moved to 3-0 when Dudley scores more than 20 points, while the Lakers fell to 0-10 when trailing after three quarters. Nash wound up with 14 assists, while Hill scored 15 and Channing Frye added 13 points.
Although the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant finished with a game-high 32 points, he was also forced into 10 turnovers.
“I just tried to make him work, stay in his face, keep him off the free throw line and out of the paint,” Hill said.
Cartwright Jersey Night
It was Bill Cartwright jersey night at the University of San Francisco last night and the current Suns assistant and former Dons standout was on hand for the festivities. It was the first time a USF player has received such an honor.
“It was really cool,” Cartwright said. “It was a wild finish to the game too.”
The Dons beat Gonzaga, who was ranked in the AP Top 25, by one in a thriller. With those kind of results, maybe "Bill Cartwright Jersey Night" will become an annual thing.
Sleepless in Phoenix
After scoring 15 points against the Lakers in L.A. on Friday, Suns shooting guard Shannon Brown flew to New Jersey for the funeral of Whitney Houston on Saturday. Brown’s wife, the award-winning performer Monica, considered Houston to be her mentor.
In fact, in every one of Monica’s shows, she used to sing a Houston tribute song that Houston would specifically pick out for her. Brown flew out to the funeral to show his support for the Houston family and for his wife, who has taken Houston’s recent passing particularly hard.
After the proceedings, Brown hopped back on a plane and got back in at 1 a.m. in the morning. Despite all of the jet lag, Brown said he was still up for tonight’s game against his former team.
“Basketball will always be my therapy,” Brown said. “It’s always been my outlet and my release and I’m looking forward to getting back out there and trying to get a win today.”
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