Suns Run Out of Gas in Loss to Rockets

by Ben York

In the second of three meetings this season, the Suns weren’t able to stop an offensive onslaught from the Houston Rockets in a 122-108 loss Wednesday

The Suns actually took the first meeting this season, with a 97-88 win in Houston on the second night of a back-to-back.

Tonight, however, was a different story.

Phoenix played the Bulls at home less than 24 hours prior, and it was clear they didn’t quite have the energy and synergy they typically do.

In a game of runs that the Rockets ultimately won, the Suns took their first lead of the game, 41-40, with nine minutes to go until halftime. The Suns
outscored Houston 11-5 in the opening minutes of the second quarter.

The Suns then trailed by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter before going on a 10-3 run to cut Houston’s lead to 95-90 entering the fourth
quarter. Dragic and Barbosa scored all 10 points in that run.

Phoenix was able to cut the Rockets’ lead to four points with just under six minutes left in the game before Houston went on a 10-3 run to make it 113-102.

“We didn’t stop anybody,” Jeff Hornacek said after the game. “Our defense hasn’t been good the past two games. They [the Rockets] shot 55 percent tonight
and got whatever they wanted. They started the game 16-4; we can’t come out and start like that.

“We gave up a lot of easy buckets.”

Dwight Howard led Houston with 34 points and 14 rebounds for the Rockets who picked up their fourth straight victory. Goran Dragic paced the Suns with 23
points and eight assists, who have dropped two in a row after winning five straight.

The Suns actually shot well from the field (47 percent) and assisted on 21 of 42-made shots while turning the ball over just 13 times. Phoenix wasn’t able
to find their stroke from the 3-point line, however, shooting just 8-of-30 on the evening.

Phoenix returns home to face the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, February 8.