Throwback Thursday: A 26-point comeback against the Cavs

Posted by on January 23rd, 2:16 pm

On social media sites, Thursdays have turned into Throwback Thursdays. People post old pictures on their Instagram, Twitter or Facebook accounts every Thursday to showcase a special moment from the past. ValleyoftheSuns has decided to join the craze and bring Suns fans some of the most memorable moments, good or bad, in the team’s history. This week, we go not too far back to recount one of the few bright spots from a year ago.

Date: Nov. 9, 2012

Place: U.S. Airways Center

Set-up: The sixth game of the 2012-13 regular season could not have started any worse for the Suns. The Cleveland Cavaliers scored 18 of the first 20 points in the game including a 10-0 run right off the bat that forced Suns coach Alvin Gentry to call two timeouts in the game’s first 3:57. Cleveland scored points on their first 10 possessions and ended up leading 37-16 after the first quarter. A Daniel Gibson three-pointer and a field goal by Tristan Thompson gave the Cavs a 26-point lead to begin the second quarter before the Suns outscored them 91-63 the rest of the way to cement the franchise’s third-best comeback of all-time.

Comeback: The Suns slowly started chipping away at the 26-point deficit and cut it in half by halftime thanks to scoring the last 6 points of the half in the final 51 seconds. In the third quarter, they got it down to just five points after a Goran Dragic layup at the 8:06 mark, but Cleveland quickly got it back to around 10. Going into the fourth quarter, the Cavs’ seven-point cushion didn’t last long as the Suns scored seven straight to tie the game. The Cavs got the lead back up to seven with 4:24 to go when the Suns went on one final run.

The Suns scored six straight points and then promptly gave up back-to-back layups to trail by three with with 2:30 to go. P.J. Tucker, as he mentions below, grabbed a big offensive rebound off a Michael Beasley miss that led to a Beasley jumper to get the game down to a point. On the next possession, Tucker hit a jump shot to give the Suns a lead they would not give up. Kyrie Irving’s last second three pointer hit the back of the rim and the Suns completed the 26 point comeback to win the game 107-105.

Aftermath: The comeback could have hurt the Suns in the end. The Cavs finished the season with a 24-58 record while the Suns ended up with a 25-57 record, and you know the rest. Cleveland ended up winning the lottery and jumped from the fourth spot to No. 1 in the draft order. Maybe it didn’t matter a whole lot in the end if the Suns really did have Alex Len atop their draft board.

Tucker’s thoughts:

I spoke with P.J. Tucker after practice on Monday about the great comeback to get his take on the game. At the time, Tucker was still trying to find his role on the team playing in only his sixth as a Sun.

What do you remember about that night?

We were having a bad half, played bad in the first half. In the second half, I’m trying to think of the play, but we just out-hustled them and played really hard. We got a lot of offensive rebounds and And 1 put-backs. It was definitely one of the best games of last year.

Was there a play or something that was said that triggered the comeback?

It was just one of those games we felt like we should have won. We were playing so bad and everyone kind of just stepped up. We had so many games like that where we started out bad, came back at the end, but a lot of times we didn’t have enough, that night we came through.

Do you remember what triggered the slow start that night?

Like anything else last year, execution, it just wasn’t there all the time and in the second half we played hard and that’s why we won.

Did you think it was still possible to make a run and win the game down 26?

You can always win, you can be down almost anything and comeback in the league.

Final thoughts from that night.

I remembered getting a big offensive rebound late in the fourth and some big stops on Dion Waiters, it was definitely a good game to throwback, for sure.

Jeffrey Sanders

Jeffrey Sanders is a ValleyoftheSuns staff writer currently working toward his degree in broadcast journalism at Arizona State University. He is also involved in on-campus groups, such as the Blaze 1330 AM and CronkiteSports.com.

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Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers · P.J. Tucker · Phoenix Suns

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 BCrayZ // Feb 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Good post just a few days before we started our road trip vs. this Cavs team.

    Funny how we started out down 20 this time also, just before the half in Sunday’s game. Then came back with an even bigger 29 point come back for the win, even on the road.

    Frye hit the dagger trey this time, with just about a minute left. Then he made clutch free throws to seal this last come back game. Was hard to believe my eyes. Road trip ended also on a positive note. Swept the trip 4-0 by beating the Pacers for the 2nd time in about a week. Frye was cold from deep in this one, so he contributed in other ways. Like leading our team in rebounds & helping us to play to a 56-56 battle of the boards, dead even. Part of that battle was boxing out Hibbert & West. When Hibbert’s & West’s rebounds are totaled they approximated Frye’s alone, for the game. Frye also led our Suns in blocks this game & had as many as all other players combined for our team. Then there was our Brazilian Blur. Despite playing with a separated shoulder (same injury that is preventing Chris Paul for playing for the Clip), Barbosa’s hard work & determination showed in his leading our Suns (by far) in shooting % for the game. Most importantly, Suns have won 6 out of our 7 games, since Barbosa has come back to play. He will even be better with more playing time at the same time as Frye & Gogi. Make it so Jeff.

    MUST start & ALSO finish with LB. Let’s go SUNS!!!!

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