Newsroom Notes: Suns Rally to Defeat Pistons
Posted: March 16, 2012
The atypical manner in which the Suns have been winning has become typical.
During the month of March, the Suns came into Friday having executed seven double-digit comebacks for wins. Although the Suns didn’t fall behind by double figures in Friday’s home contest against the Pistons, the Suns did forge a rally in the fourth period to capture a 109-101 victory.
“They came in and shot the lights out of it,” Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said. “We did a much better job in the second half challenging shots and keeping them out of the paint.”
With the win, Phoenix reached .500 for just the second time this season and for the first time since January 8. The Suns also improved to 8-2 since the All-Star break and captured their third-straight win for just the third time all season.
The Suns, who are now 6-1 when Jared Dudley scores over 20 or more points, received 18 of his game-high-tying 23 points in the first half. In the second half, a balanced Suns attack featuring six players in double-figures handled the rest of the heavy-lifting.
Steve Nash spearheaded the offense with 17 assists, while the two-headed center monster of Marcin Gortat (16 points) and Robin Lopez (14) provided some inside punch. Channing Frye notched another impressive double-double by recording 15 points and 13 rebounds.
“We keep looking at that (playoff) board and we’ve just got to keep grinding,” Frye said. “You see everybody’s having a good time, everybody’s cheering each other on. The crowd has been fantastic, especially at home and for us this is a big time of the season and guys are making big-time plays. ”
Phoenix tallied 10 more second-chance points than Detroit, an area in which it usually struggles. But after proving earlier in the season that it is a team that can win by holding opponents to less than 80 points, the Suns have now shown that its offense can also be used to pull out a win.
The Suns host the Rockets, who are currently in seventh place in the West, on Sunday at 6 p.m.
The Suns became just the fourth NBA team this season to sweep a back-to-back-to-back set, joining the teams that currently own the NBA’s three-best records: Chicago, Miami and Oklahoma City. It was the first time the Suns have swept a back-to-back-to-back set since March 4-6, 1981.
To get a grasp of just how far the team has grown, the Suns went 0-3 during their first set of back-to-back-to-back games earlier this season.
Morris Dunks Over Griffin
Last night, Suns rookie Markieff Morris gave the Clippers' Blake Griffin a dose of his own medicine by dunking on him in the second quarter of Thursday night’s game. Check it out in this video.
As nice as it was, the slam didn’t make the nightly Top 10 on SportsCenter or NBA TV. Suns point guard Sebastian Telfair, who provided the sweet dish on the play, had his thoughts about Morris being snubbed on the nightly highlights.
“He got robbed,” Telfair said. “I told JD (Jared Dudley) that he needed to tweet ESPN and let them know.”Dudley said he has yet to take it up with ESPN execs.
During their seven wins in the month of March, the Suns have executed seven double-digit comebacks. Because of those late runs, the Suns have only led for 30:13 in the first halves of those contests.
That’s an average of just 4:19 seconds a night.
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