Clippers Fend Off Suns' Rally

Different Suns got hot at different times on Tuesday night. It simply wasn't hot enough against the Clippers, who countered with just enough defense to hand Phoenix a 104-96 loss.
Barry Gossage/NBAE
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Different Suns got hot at different times on Tuesday night.

It simply wasn't hot enough against the Clippers, who countered with Matt Barnes (28 points) and just enough defense to throw Phoenix out of its collective groove in a 104-96 loss.

To add injury to insult, the Suns lost guard Leandro Barbosa to a fractured hand in the first half. Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek guessed after the game that Barbosa would likely miss six weeks, though a more official time frame is expected in the near future.

Despite missing both him and Miles Plumlee (sprained knee), the Suns more than held their own on the glass (46-40), in paint points (46-40) and second-chance points (23-10).

P.J. Tucker (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Marcus Morris (12 points), however, were the only two Suns to hit at least 50 percent of their shots.

"When those teams come out and get after you like that, you've got to work a little harder to get to your spot," said Suns Head Coach Jeff Hornacek. "You can't float around. That's what happened. They pushed us out of our stuff, we couldn't get anything good and we couldn't stop them."

TURNING POINT

Holding an 11-point lead heading into the third quarter, the Suns saw Matt Barnes single-handedly turn the tide of the game with 16 points in the period.

The performance spurred a 37-18 quarter in favor of the Clippers, who held even with Phoenix in the fourth to preserve the win.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT

"I feel like we dictated the pace for at least two-and-a-half to three quarters of that game. We had a slip-up there in the third and they took advantage of it. That's what great teams do." -- Shavlik Randolph, who scored nine points and added three rebounds in just 14 minutes and in his second game with the team.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Gerald Green's shot didn't start falling until the end, when he nearly brought the Suns back by himself with eight straight points in the fourth quarter. He did a lot more than score, racking up eight rebounds, five assists and three steals to go along with 17 points.

PHOTO OF THE NIGHT

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STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT

1: the number of NBA starts rookie Alex Len now has under his belt after starting in place of Miles Plumlee. He finished with six points and six rebounds while battling the L.A. duo of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin for 19 minutes.

HIGHLIGHT RUNNER-UP