Newsroom Notes: Suns Shoot Down Bucks
Posted: Jan. 8, 2012
One of the hallmarks of a solid basketball team is taking care of business at home, and the Suns did just that Sunday when they captured a 109-93 victory over the visiting Bucks.
The Suns are beginning to find their stride, reaching .500 for the first time this season and winning their third straight at home.
“I think our rhythm is improving,” Suns point guard Steve Nash said. “We’re making open shots and we’re also getting a bit of a better pace and tempo to our game.”
When a team comes in on the last game of a five-game road trip and having played the night before, it’s imperative to take command early and set the tempo for the night. Phoenix accomplished that by shooting 59 percent from the floor in the first half, heading into the locker room ahead by 10.
Outscoring the Bucks 34-17 in the third period, the Suns opened up a 25-point lead as they went into the final quarter, never looking back after that. It was their 24th-straight home win over Milwaukee, tying a franchise victory for most consecutive wins over one team at home.
Behind 63-percent shooting from the field, Nash tallied 10 points and 17 assists, with Marcin Gortat (18 points), Channing Frye (16), Grant Hill (14), Shannon Brown (14), Markieff Morris (13) and Jared Dudley (11) all reaching double figures.
Meanwhile, on the other end, the Suns held the Bucks to 43-percent shooting from the floor and just 3-of-15 shooting from behind the arc.
“It was a total team effort and win that we needed to have,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said. “We have some trips coming up, tough road games and such, so you always want to take care of business at home.”
The brightest spot of the night was Frye breaking out of his shooting slump. The Suns power forward came into the game shooting a frosty 17 percent from three-point land, 4-of-23 overall.
On Sunday, Frye nailed his first two threes and another deep jumper to notch 8 first-quarter points. He finished the night shooting 6-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-4 from three-point land.
“Tonight I think just had better balance,” Frye said. “I looked on the film and saw that and wanted to make sure I was on balance.”
The Suns visit L.A. on Tuesday.
Cleats to High-Tops
Not only do Nash and Bucks guard Brandon Jennings go head-to-head on the hardwood, but also on the pitch. During the offseason, Jennings played in Nash’s Showdown in Chinatown charity soccer game in New York.
The Bucks guard was introduced to Nash through their mutual agent, Bill Duffy, and the two have remained friendly during Jennings’ 2+ years in the league. The two actually went on a promotional trip to China together.
“Steve Nash and I are a good friends and I think it’s a great event,” Jennings said. “Also, it’s something different. I played soccer when I played overseas for training, but I’m not that good.”
Jennings vowed to return every summer for the event.
“As long as I keep getting invited,” he said.
Although it would’ve been poetic to have Michael Redd make his Suns debut against the Bucks on Sunday, it wasn’t in the cards. The 6-6 guard continues to progress in his attempt to return to “basketball shape,” but hasn’t been given the green light by the coaching staff yet.
Coach Gentry believes that Redd is about 3-4 days away from being “stuck into a game situation” where he could play about 10 minutes. The coaching staff doesn’t expect him to go out there and play 30 minutes the first night out.
Gentry targeted Thursday’s game against Cleveland as his possible debut
Not only did Frye have a season-high 16 points on Sunday, but he did so against his cousin’s team. That’s right, rookie forward Tobias Harris out of Tennessee is a cousin on his mother’s side.
“He did well,” Frye said of his cousin, who scored a team-high 15 points for the Bucks. “I try to keep up with him and I think he worked really hard this summer. I’m really proud of him and I wish him the best, except when he plays us.”
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