What. A. Game.
The Suns looked to have a tough matchup tonight as they hosted the Indiana Pacers, who currently boast the best record and the best defense in the NBA. The game was nationally televised on ESPN. Boy, did the Suns rise to the occasion, emerging with a spectacular 124-100 victory.
Indiana allows only an average of 88 points per game and holds opposing teams to a 40 percent filed goal percentage and a 32 percent three point percentage. The Suns shot 54 percent from the floor and 68 from long range. 124 points is the most given up by the Pacers this season, and 24 ties their worst loss of the season, which came at the hands of the Thunder.
The Suns are a team that plays with endless heart and effort every minute of every game, and it showed. They held a large lead going inot halftime, but the Pacers were 12-4 after tailing at halftime, so the Suns could not let up. In the third quarter, foul trouble began to shrink the Suns lead, and in the early fourth quarter, Indy cut the lead to thirteen. The Suns then proceeded to go on a furious run, leaving Indiana without a field goal for six and a half minutes.
Throughout the game, Indiana made the mistake of letting the Suns dictate the pace. The Suns love to run teams out of the building, and the Pacers fell into the trap, turning the ball over 20 times and allowing the Suns to rack up 28 fastbreak points.
The heroics of the game belonged to several players. Gerald Green torched his former team with 23 points and six rebounds, including one of his spectacular dunks and acrobatic post moves. Goran Dragic dropped in 21. Neither of these two set foot on the floor in the final quarter. Markieff Morris put up 20 points, and Miles Plumlee chipped in on the action against his former team with 11 points and seven boards. Imagine how this would’ve looked if Eric Bledsoe was available
When both Dragic and Barbosa got in foul trouble, Ish Smith came in and made a few plays to seal the win for the Suns. He finished with eight points and two assists. Everyone got in on the action, with the Suns reserve players finishing out the game.
It was truly a fantastic effort in front of a huge audience by a team that has an unquenchable thirst to prove itself as an opponent that other teams have to prepare for. The SUns stadium was full of energy, with fellow teammates and fans encouraging the Suns to keep up the pressure for 48 minutes. They did so. Of course, it is only one of 82 games, and Indiana is still one of the bets teams in the NBA without question, but the Suns definitely showed what they were made of with this win. For a team that has worked very hard to catch the attention of the NBA world, letting them savor this win shouldn’t be a problem. No doubt the Suns earned some respect with this victory.
The Suns reach the halfway point of the season with a bang, and improve to 24-17, one away from their win total through all of last season. They play again on Friday, where they host another former Sun, Marcin Gortat, and the Washington Wizards.