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Magic Slip By the Suns
By: Stefan Swiat, Suns.com
Coming into Sunday’s contest against Orlando, the Suns won eight of nine at home against the Magic.
However, with leading scorer and starting point guard Goran Dragic missing the matchup with a stomach virus, the Suns couldn’t make it nine out of 10, dropping a 98-90 home decision.
The Suns went back and forth with the Magic the entire night before letting the game slip away from them in the final minutes. Orlando shooting guard Aaron Afflalo’s two free throws capped off an 18-7 fourth-quarter run that put Orlando up 11 with less than five minutes left.
From that point, the Suns didn’t have enough time to recover, dropping their seventh-straight game.
“We have to do better defensively,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. “Teams come in and shoot 50 percent every night against us. That’s not going to get it done.”
Phoenix allowed Orlando to shoot 52 percent from the field and post a 44-29 advantage in rebounding on the night. A career-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting from Orlando rookie Andrew Nicholson and 20 points from J.J. Redick led to the Suns’ undoing.
Phoenix shooting guard Shannon Brown led all Suns in scoring by notching 17 points, while swingman Jared Dudley added 15. Marcin Gortat (12 points), Luis Scola (11) and Markieff Morris (10) rounded out the rest of the Suns players in double figures on the night.
“We have to be confident,” Dudley said about playing offensively. “When it's crunch time we tend to get a little timid and we don't run the sets the way they are to be run.”
Having played eight games in eight different cities recently, the Suns played the first of their five-game homestand against the Magic on Sunday. Counting the Orlando game, the Suns already played their 13th interconference game of the season: the most by any team in the West.
In fact, Phoenix has played as many games against Eastern Conference teams as 12 of the 15 teams in the East already have. Now, after extensive travel, the Suns will look to get some home cooking and attempt to make up some ground in the West against opponents in their own conference.
Having just finished the first quarter of the season, the Suns only sit four and a half games behind the sixth place team in the West. The Suns host Memphis on Wednesday.Any questions or comments for Stefan Swiat? Click here to send him your comments by e-mail.
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