Postgame Central: Suns vs Celtics - Feb. 22, 2013


Feb. 22, 2013


US Airways Center
Goran Dragic
19 PTS, 11 AST
Jeff Green
31 PTS, 7 REB

Suns Lose to Celtics at Home

By: Stefan Swiat,

PHOENIX -- Coming into Friday’s contest, the Suns had won their first home game after the All-Star break four consecutive times. And if the Suns hadn’t started off slowly, Friday night could have been their fifth straight.

However, the Suns started in a 13-point hole that they never fully recovered from in a 113-88 defeat to the visiting Celtics. After closing the deficit to five in the third period, the Celtics outscored the Suns by 11 in final period, moving to a 9-3 record since its injury to star point guard Rajon Rondo.

The Suns were undone from the three-point line, where Boston shot 46 percent from behind the arc on 10-of-22 shooting. Meanwhile, the Suns only hit on 19 percent of their treys, connecting on just 4-of-19 from deep.

“We played better in the third quarter,” Suns point guard Goran Dragic said. “We came close; within five points, and then everybody just fell apart. They were wide open on threes.”

Overall, the Celtics nailed 56 percent of their shots from the field, while the Suns shot 42 percent on the night. Much of Boston’s offense was provided by swingman Jeff Green, who erupted for a season-high 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting. Dragic continued his post-All-Star tear, posting 19 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. In fact, the Suns' floor leader has now recorded three-straight games of double-digit assists for the first time in his career.

Looking bolstered by the addition of his twin brother, Suns power forward Markieff Morris scored 11 on 5-of-8 shooting. The last Phoenix player in double figures was center Marcin Gortat, who added 10 of his own.

“We just didn’t execute,” Gortat said. “They came out ready to play and threw the first punch and we just broke down.” The Suns look to rebound when they host the Western Conference-leading Spurs on Sunday.

Post All-Star Run
When Suns point guard Goran Dragic dished out a career-high 18 assists two games ago against Portland, joining Boston’s Rajon Rondo and Detroit’s Jose Calderon as the only players this season to record at least 18 assists in a game. In addition, Dragic is the only player in the NBA this season to post at least 16 points and 18 assists in a game.

In the first two games after the break, no other player has registered as many assists as Dragic. In fact, the closest competitor has 10 less than him.

It was also the first time in his career that he’s totaled 19 points and 10 assists Sunday in three consecutive games.

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