Jan. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) controls the ball in the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Clippers 93-88. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Winning Ways! Suns 93 – Clippers 88


Jan. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns forward Luis Scola (14) celebrates a play in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Clippers 93-88. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well how about that? Lindsey Hunter is now 2-0 as the Suns new head coach as the Phoenix Suns(15-28) defeated the Los Angeles Clippers(32-12) last night on TNT by the final score of 93-88. With the win over the Clippers, Hunter becomes only the 4th head coach in Suns history to win his first two games.

Goran Dragic stepped up for the Suns with what was arguably his best game of the season as he led all players with 24 points, Dragic added 8 assists; Dragic scored 17 points in the 1st half. Markieff Morris also had a great game off the bench as he put up 15 points and 8 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.

“I just try to play hard every night and give everything I have to the team.” Said Dragic “We are going step by step and game by game.”

The Suns did an exceptional job defensively against the Clippers as they held the Clippers to 39.8% shooting from the floor and forced 15 Clipper turnovers which led to 21 points for the Suns. Luis Scola and Markieff Morris both played great defense throughout the  on Clipper star Blake Griffin throughout the game. Griffin scored merely 12 points and had 3 turnovers.

“He gives us everything he has every night and every practice. He and Goran are who we want to build our culture around.” Hunter on Scola

The Suns led the Clippers 68-66 heading into the 4th quarter and after some back and fourth action, the Clippers still trailed 77-78 with 5:03 left in the game. The Suns then went on a 8-2 run to take a 86-79 lead with three minutes left in the contest.The Clippers would answer with a 6-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer by Jamal Crawford with 26 seconds left in the game to close the gap to 85-86. 

Jan. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) blocks the shot of Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat in the first quarter at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After two free-throws made by Gortat, the Suns took a 88-85 lead with 23 seconds left. Crawford would come down the other end for Los Angeles and miss a crucial free throw as the Suns led 88-86 with 19 seconds to go.

Caron Butler would then commit a clear path foul on Shannon Brown, after a Brown free throw Phoenix had a 89-86 lead with 14 seconds left and the possession of the basketball. With a three point lead for the Suns and possession of the basketball, that was all she wrote for Lob City.

Jamal Crawford after not being named an all-star came out with an edge in the second half. Crawford scored 21 points on 8 of 13 shooting to lead the Clippers, 16 of which came in the 2nd half.

Eric Bledsoe also played a fine game for Lob City as he recorded 15 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals; the Clippers are now 3-2 with Bledsoe as their starting point guard.

Crawford was by far the Clipper’s best offensive weapon last night. If you discount Crawford’s performance off the bench, the Clippers bench collectively shot 7 of 32 from the floor for 17 points. The Clippers without Paul was unable to take advantage of the Suns 17 turnovers as L.A scored only 16 points off of those turnovers.

“We are very comfortable in the fourth quarter,” Crawford said. “There has been a little bit of slippage, but we have to know exactly where we want to go in the fourth quarter and what we want to do. I think that is where we were at previously and I think we will be able to get back to that.”

The Suns will face some tough tests in the coming days as they’re set to take on the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio on Saturday followed by the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas and the Suns will host the Lakers on January 31st in Phoenix in what would be a homecoming for Steve Nash.

 

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