The last time the Suns met the Nets, Phoenix overcame a 15-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat New Jersey in overtime 118-109.
Steve Nash willed his team to victory posting 23 points (10 of which came in overtime) and 16 assists.
At the time, the win gave the Suns a 16-21 record. Since then, however, the team is 14-6 and climbing its way back into the playoff picture.
It’s easy to point to that night as the clear turnaround moment for the Suns’ season. Phoenix looked dead in the water, trailing by 15 with 10 minutes left. But with the help of some lively defense, the Suns outscored the Nets by 24 through the rest of regulation and overtime.
Fast forward more than a month and a half later and Phoenix has continued to play much better defense. The Suns have held 10 of their last 18 opponents to less than 100 points.
When Phoenix visits New Jersey Monday night, however, the Nets are going to look a little bit different.
Acquired at the trade deadline from Utah, Deron Williams is now a Net.
Still sounds a little weird, doesn’t it?
The surprising move gave New Jersey the superstar it was looking for while kicking Williams out of a town he made relevant in recent years.
Monday will be Williams third game in his new uniform. The first two were losses to San Antonio and Houston. He had 14 and 12 against the Spurs and 15 and 17 against the Rockets.
Phoenix is coming off a dramatic 110-108 win over the Pacers Sunday morning. Despite giving up a double-digit forth quarter lead and needing a late Grant Hill three to force overtime, the Suns escaped Indiana when Channing Frye drilled a long-range jumper at the buzzer in overtime.
The extra minutes might come back to haunt the Suns Monday night. Nash, Frye and Hill all played over 40 minutes of basketball and the second half of back-to-backs haven’t been good to Phoenix this season.
Playing a Nets team that has lost five in a row will help ease some of that pain though. New Jersey will still be trying to figure out itself with all the new players. The Suns know exactly what they are going through. The Nets will need some time to figure out each other and get a feel for how their teammates play.
The Suns will look to spoil Williams’ home debut, which is sure to make the building a little louder than normal. Phoenix has won 12 of the last 14 meetings between the two teams.
The team is averaging 125 points in their last four games at New Jersey and of course Monday will feature the always entertaining Lopez sibling contest. In their last matchup, Brook outscored his little brother Robin 16 to 11.