Phoenix Suns 98, Charlotte Bobcats 91 — Flinging Frye

An affinity for drama started a four-game losing streak for the Phoenix Suns, and in a game with the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday, it nearly continued the skid. Despite Phoenix building a 21-point lead, the Bobcats used fourth quarter Phoenix turnovers, some forced and some not, to come within six points with less than a minute to play.

The Suns made enough free throws and used a late offensive board by P.J. Tucker to close out the Bobcats 98-91 in Charlotte, and finally a breath of fresh air can be let out.

Coach Jeff Hornacek probably won’t see it that way (Editor’s note: Hornacek actually started off his TV press conference by letting out a breath). By the end of it all, he went from angry to laughing as Markieff Morris clanged a free throw in the final seconds. If the Suns were going to blow it, it would’ve taken a better worse effort. That’s because the Bobcats still aren’t a team ready to challenge for much — don’t get me started on a rookie class that saw Cody Zeller get drafted a pick ahead of Alex Len.

The second-slowest team in the NBA in terms of pace got caught up playing like the Suns. Early on, there wasn’t much changed for Phoenix compared to the last few games, but Charlotte’s poor defense finally allowed the Suns to find an offensive flow.

Channing Frye led Phoenix with 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 5-for-7 shooting from three-point range. P.J. Tucker added 17 points and hit all three of his threes, and the Suns shot 47 percent overall and 44 percent from three despite Gerald Green finally hitting a wall.

Getting to the foul stripe 38 times, the Suns left 16 free throws on the board. They also struggled mightily with 21 turnovers, which were used by the Bobcats to make a mighty comeback that threatened Phoenix late.

Dave Dulberg previewed the game with some questions, and all three were points of emphasis in a learning experience of a win.

When will Green slow down from three-point range?

Cold as a cucumber, and not the good kind of cold cucumber. More like a frozen one. Green missed all eight of his three-point shots and by the end of the night was 5-for-15 from the field. That didn’t mean he didn’t have an impact.

Green had a few forehead smacking turnovers, but in the fourth quarter forced a turnover by knocking a pass off a Charlotte player, then as he jawed at a fan sitting courtside, turned, caught a pass coming out of the backcourt and rose up for a long two that warranted a Bobcats timeout as the Suns extended their lead to 18 with 9:30 left in the game.

In general, the Suns offense and defense continued to struggle as it did in two disappointing losses to the Sacramento Kings. The ball movement was poor, and though it makes sense that Phoenix would struggle without Eric Bledsoe acting as a mask to any lulls in execution — he pulled himself out of shootaround, according to Paul Coro – the Suns found some confidence at the end of the first quarter. Charlotte’s defense was quite bad, and the Suns ended the first on a 12-2 run and scored six straight points to start the second.

Over/under 16 turnovers for the Suns?

Phoenix was playing with the over-under at halftime when it had nine turnovers, and it had 13 turnovers entering the fourth quarter. They finished with 21 turnovers that led to 28 Bobcats points, and six of the miscues came in the final five minutes as Charlotte trimmed a lead that was 21 points, 84-63, with eight minutes to play down to six with less than a minute to go.

Goran Dragic again forced things in the fourth and accounted for four of the team’s eight turnovers while missing two free throws in the final minutes.

Another double-double down low?

Center Al Jefferson, who has missed the majority of the year with an ankle injury, started for Charlotte and played in just his fourth game this season. The former Utah big man didn’t torch Phoenix as he had many times in the past, and for the first time in six games, the Suns didn’t give up a double-double to an opposing center.

Jefferson finished with nine points, six boards and three blocks, while Phoenix center Miles Plumlee led the team with 11 rebounds and three blocks.

And somehow, the Suns won a game despite getting outscored in the paint 48-26. Holding Charlotte to 42 percent overall and just 3-of-14 from three-point range might be the reasoning there.

And 1

  • Rookie guard Archie Goodwin had another strong performance, hitting 3-of-5 shots thanks to attacking the rim with his usual aggression. He finished with eight points and six boards.
  • Markieff Morris didn’t quite bounce back with his offensive efficiency, but he did score 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. The most promising part of his 36 minutes were his nine rebounds.


    nice article kevin..our team is a yo yo but i love them know how much I’ve ranted over the last few years..all i wanted to see was a plausible re-build

  • Chad

    That was one of the worse games of basketball I’ve ever seen.

  • Sunsn7

    @EricBledsoe — Good look pulling yourself from the shootaround. Take your time coming back. You don’t want any lingering injuries…

    Gerald Green will bounce back, not even worried about him because he plays hard…

    Ugly win…but i’ll take an ugly win over a “pretty loss”


  • foreveris2long

    At least I can sleep good tonight since we did not totally blow this one. On another note if you can watch the Bulls and Trailblazers. Robin Lopez is having a really good game as well as D.Rose and Lillian going at each other. Lopez has 13 points and 13 boards in the 3rd quarter. It is a fun game to watch as both teams are running.

    I cannot wait for Bledsoe to get back but as Sunsn7 said, not a minute before he is physically ready. Green is just realizing how good he can be. I agree he is going to be fine.

  • Luka

    Glad to see Frye play his one good game of basketball for the month. He can now promptly return to mediocrity against Orlando.

  • Scott

    Looks like my old prediction of Robin Lopez going to Portland and becoming not only good but a fan favorite is slowly coming true … :)

  • VK1

    I love to win…but aren’t we suppose to lose this year :)

    Good to see Tucker hit some 3s.

    It’s tough to watch Goran run the pick and role, he’s simply not as smooth as Nash. Plum Dogg would have more easy buckets if that were the case.

    All the games this season have been great to watch, minus this one. Of course I want the team to be successful b/c they are very entertaining, work hard and playing very good “D”, but at the end of the day we are suppose to “tank” :)

    The ORL game should be very entertaining!

  • hawki

    Where was Bismack Biyombo ?

    Western Conf. now has eleven teams that are .500 or better.
    Eastern Conf. only has 4 teams .500 or better.

    Nice win by the Suns….especially over the half-witted political puppet M Jordan.

  • SueB

    Man, this team is difficult to watch. Fun at times, but always with the dread of a collapse at the end. 17 points up with, what, 4 minutes left. And still not safe. Well, I guess it was safe in this case, but I didn’t feel safe until about 30 seconds left, owing to recent results. Thank goodness for the good 3-point shooting and Charlotte’s overall suckiness. But all the casual turnovers ……. argh. Please come back soon, Bledsoe.

  • John

    Al McCoy put this game in the old deep freeze with a couple of minutes remaining. The deep freeze tried to spit it back out.

  • hawki


    I’ll give you Missouri ov ole miss & Duke ov wake forest if you give me ASU ov ucla.

  • east coast

    Frye to the Clippers, Crawford to the Pistons, Monroe to Phoenix. Make it happen – toss in the Pacers pick to Detroit, if need be. Everyone gets what they need.

  • EBJM

    East Coast why exactly do the Clippers need Frye at the expense of Crawford? Pistons would be better off with Dragic and most of us thing he is a goner anyway as Bledsoe has played much better alongside Green

    The Clippers are looking at Lamar Odom and Chris Wilcox, guys that play inside, rebound and defend.

  • EBJM

    Hawki, Biyombo is another Michael Jordan acquisition who grabbed 21 boards last month while Jefferson was out. Looks like he is the odd man out in Charlotte’s future.

    How about sending Frye to Charlotte for Bismack Biyombo and injured center Brandon Hayward?

  • Ty-Sun

    I don’t expect any trades by anyone until after Dec. 15 and the pool of trade available players increases.

    Frye would actually be a a fairly good pick up for the Clips but not at the expense of Crawford.

  • foreveris2long

    Clips have Mullen who does the same thing as Frye. I think if they explore a trade it will be a low post player they can trust at the end of games to score or get fouled and hit free throws. Blake Griffin has definitely improved but they could use another low post scorer.

    Any news on Derrick Rose this morning regarding his knee?

  • DBreezy

    That wasn’t the most exciting game to put it kindly, but the Suns got it done and ended their losing streak. Also we got to see Gerald Green have a Ricky Davis moment with a Bobcats fan so there’s that.

  • hawki

    EBJM….interesting trade scenario….but on such a young team, I value Frye’s experience.

    Forever….Rose having MRI in Los Angeles today…not the same knee he hurt last year tho.

  • foreveris2long

    Thanks Hawki. Yeah DBreezy I think that was really bad basketball most of the night with a lot of fouls, missed freethrows and all of the turnovers near the end of the game. But a win despite low expectations feels a lot better than a loss.

    R. Lopez 16 boards last night, are you kidding me?

  • Ty-Sun

    Okafor’s expiring contract is still the most interesting trade chip that the Suns have this season. Can the Suns turn it into more assets before the trade deadline or do they keep the contract and just take the $14+ mil cap space next season to try and bring in a FA. They could certainly afford to make a strong bid for Hayward if they don’t trade Okafor before the deadline… if those rumors are true.

    But Okafor is also a very good player and might be valuable to another team making a playoff run once he is healthy again. His expiring contract might actually be more attractive to Detroit in a possible trade for Monroe than any other players on the Suns roster.

  • Ty-Sun

    So Lopez got 16 boards in his last game… good for him! Should the Suns have hung on to him? It’s irrelevant since the Suns didn’t.

  • EBJM

    Best yet is Robin’s season average is up to eight boards per game along with 8 points and a blocked shot. Forever can pick ‘em! Robin is only 25 and is rounding into form on a 10-2 Blazer team 2nd in the West and 3rd overall.

    For all the grief we have Robin you got to be happy for him!

    By comparison Miles is going 10/9/2 so we aren’t really missing him that much.

  • DBreezy

    I don’t see the Suns spending significant money in free agency outside of retaining Bledsoe, if they don’t land a franchise changer in next summer’s draft. Ignoring Wade, Melo, Bosh, Lebron who likely aren’t interested, the best of the remaining free agents are complimentary stars and RFA’s. So why even bother with them unless you’re in a position where they’re one of the last big puzzle pieces? If they don’t get a franchise changer, I think they just make all of their draft picks, continue to look for opportunistic trades, and preserve their cap space and flexibility. Iow, what the cba is designed to promote.

  • Ty-Sun

    I agree, DBreezy. While making a pitch to some of the big name FAs should be done, nabbing one of them shouldn’t be counted on. The Suns have a good young core so complimentary “stars” shouldn’t be even considered. Go with what the draft brings and hope for the best.

  • Greg Ostertag

    Sign me I’ll help ya win a championship!

  • DBreezy

    I can use you my rec hoops team Greg. Here’s to a chip!

  • Foreveris2long

    Ty-Sun when were you appointed judge, empowering you to determine what is irrelevant? I doubt you know very much about relevancy except how it is spelled.A lot of your comments lack substance but they are your opinions so we let you walk with them.

  • Foreveris2long

    Exactly DBreezy, a game changer is exactly what we should be looking for with free agency money IMO. Otherwise ride the storm out and develop our core in the interim. If a deal comes along that is too good to pass up then jump on it.

  • Ty-Sun

    My opinions I only claim to be opinions, not facts. But my opinion of you, FOREVERIS2LONG, is that you are a worthless piece of shit. Your opinion is no more valuable than anyone else’s. If you for some reason found my comments about Lopez’s getting 16 boards in his last game being irrelevant to the Suns as being offensive to you… GOOD! I didn’t intend them to be so but if you want a war, YOU GOT ONE SHIT4BRAINS!

  • Ty-Sun

    @Foreveris2long – Who appointed YOU judge, empowering you to determine who’s “comments lack substance”. You claim that “WE let you walk with them” but you don’t mention who “we” is other than yourself. If you want to drive away everyone who disagrees with you her you will have a hard time of it. I’ve read NOTHING that you have written here that is profound in any way. If you believe otherwise, you are at least profoundly self deluded.

  • DBreezy

    Charlotte is exorcising last nights demons in Milwaukee tonight. I should also expand upon what I meant by game changer as it relates to free agency. I don’t think they’ll land a superstar via free agency, but if they land one in this or any future draft or trade then I do believe they will use some of their free agency money on a player that most here will not view as a superstar player. Until then I believe they will mostly just draft and develop.


    foreveris2long i think Ty-Sun responded to you. I must be a real moron because I think both of you are insightful…Leave each other alone and start calling me a dumb ass …won’t bother me a bit.

  • Luka

    Bismarck Biyombo would be a great pick up for the Suns. The dude hustles. Is gladly trade Morris or Frye for him.

  • Luka

    Apologize for the iPhone autocorrect. “Bismack” and “I’d”

  • foreveris2long

    Ty I will compare my intellect and sports knowledge to you every day of the week. You are nothing more than a geek with pom poms.

    It is healthy for all of us to disagree but when any of us think we can tell someone their thoughts are irrelevant especially when it is apparent you do not fully understand what you are saying, shame on you.

    By the way, “we” is everyone on the board who may disagree with your thoughts but does not summarily dismiss them. Is that clear enough for you?

  • foreveris2long

    Shazam, Sorry it took so long for my response but I was away from a computer all evening. I will try to be more prompt next time.

  • vtsunrise

    Terrible to see yet another big injury to Rose. Really goods article assessing the difficult choices.

    Having gone through a torn meniscus, I know if they remove it, he could be back in a snap – bad choice of words – but what a trade off. Potentially shorten your career in order to come back in 4-6 weeks or do the more extensive, long-range operation – reattaching the torn meniscus – and lose the rest of the season, and then what? Risk tearing it again because the reckless abandon comes with a risk and a price?

    Ultimately, he needs all the knee protection he can get and then some.

    Very sad to see an exciting player like Rose lost again and maybe changed forever.

  • hawki

    SueB…..wherever you are


    All is good except for my massive hangover :)

    The Suns….oh yeah
    They are “pick ‘em” tonight vs Orlando…..sounds good….I’ll pick the Suns.

  • vtsunrise

    I hope Amar’e keeps healing. It’s been nice to see some pop on his jumps and dunks in the last few games.

  • foreveris2long

    Wow I cannot believe the bad luck Rose and the Bulls seem to be enduring. VT I have not seen a recent Knick game, is Amare showing signs of life?

  • vtsunrise

    Forever, I just caught snippets. In one game last week, Amare had a couple of quick blast dunks. They weren’t monsters, but they showed some OOMPH! Last night, in a highlight, he had a fast break dunk in which he elevated and got some height before dunking. It was sweet, smooth and showed confidence and strength. I’d say it was only 70% of what he did back in ’08 or so power-wise, but it showed a clear improvement from what I had seen in the last long while, which is not much.

    In terms of STAT stats, last night, he scored 12, his first time in double digits this season. He was 5-5 and played 22 minutes. His first game with more than 15 minutes this season. I think Coach Woodson is being smart and giving him time to come around gradually. But seeing Amar’e dunk a couple of times in the last week is encouraging. There was also a highlight where Amar’e was open in the low post and Me-Me Melo chose to shoot (surprise) and made the basket.

  • foreveris2long

    Thanks VT. I will tune in this week to some Knicks games. personally I think the Knicks with Carmelo are boring but I want to see just a little bit of Amare.

  • vtsunrise

    I’m fascinated by the horrifically inept teams that tried to load up and have, so far at least, failed. Nets and Knicks. What a joke!

  • foreveris2long

    VT I tore my lateral meniscus about 4 years ago and they repaired it. It was a lengthy rehab but no problems since and I did not lose a step in basketball. With all of the excellent care available to him if I was Rose I would go for the repair because like you commented above, he would benefit from as much protection in the knee as possible. Tough story.