Newsroom Notes: Suns Win Third Straight, Oust Kings
Posted: March 4, 2012
In order to creep back into the playoff race, the Suns need to make the most of their opportunities. Winning for their fifth time in the last six games, it appears as if the Suns are well-aware of that fact.
In the midst of a favorable stretch of home games that finds them at home for 10 out of 11 contests, the Suns captured a season-high-tying third-straight win when they dealt the Kings a 96-88 defeat at US Airways Center on Sunday.
Suns guard Shannon Brown’s nine-fourth-quarter points ignited a fourth-period comeback that saw the Suns rally back to lead by as many as 11 down the stretch. The Suns, who were behind by as many as 10 early in the night, came back from a double-digit deficit for the third-straight game.
“Shannon Brown gave us a good lift while we were struggling,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said, adding later, “He did a good job of giving us separation.”
It was the first time that the Suns overcame double-digit deficits in three-straight games since 2002.
“Our offense has been clicking and when we get down, we don’t lose our confidence,” Suns forward Grant Hill said. “We make adjustments and we figure out a way to come back. You don’t want to flirt with that too much, but it’s important to figure out how to get out of different situations.”
Steve Nash (19 points and seven assists), Marcin Gortat (14 points and 17 rebounds), Jared Dudley (14 points) and Channing Frye (11 points) rounded out the rest of the Suns that were in double figures. But once again, it was the Suns’ defense that provided them the advantage, holding the Kings to 38-percent shooting on the night.
It was the third-straight game that the Suns held their opponent under 40-percent shooting, which is the first time that has occurred since 2008. In addition, Sacramento is a club that traditionally gives Phoenix fits on the glass, but the Suns outrebounded the Kings by four on the boards Sunday.
The Suns play their lone road game in their next five games in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.
Before the 11th Annual Jack in the Box Celebrity Shootout presented by Robert and Carole Machiz, Suns swingman Jared Dudley predicted that his team would win the event and Terrell Owens would take home MVP honors. Now, while his boast may not quite rival the likes of Muhammad Ali, he was dead accurate.
According to the Boston College product his strategy was simple: “I coached less this year. I let them play and trusted them more.”
Besides Owens, Dudley, who was assisted by teammate Josh Childress, was impressed with the play of actor Donald Faison. He didn’t overwhelm you with athleticism like TO, but he was “solid and steady.”
However, Dudley’s kind words didn’t extend to teammates Sebastian Telfair and Hakim Warrick, who were coaching the opposing crew of celebrities.
“Let me put it this way,” Dudley said jokingly. “I knew we were going to win before the game started.”
Warrick, who assisted Telfair, threw his head coach under the bus by stating, “I think they’re going to bump me up to the head spot. They’re talking about giving Bassy the axe.”
Although the rumor can’t be confirmed, Telfair left the locker room without speaking to reporters.
Despite shooting 35 percent against the Clippers on Friday, the Suns still managed to hold for the victory. It was the Suns' lowest field-goal percentage in a win since shooting 33.3 percent during a 78-74 victory over Cleveland on Nov. 1, 2002.
In 2002, not one person that was on that coaching staff or roster is still with the organization today.
Before the game, Gentry was speaking without hyperbole when he said that the Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins was "just as talented as any big man in the league." He truly believes that Cousins’ potential is infinite.
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