Phoenix Suns 102, Indiana Pacers 94 – Snub this


They say the NBA is where amazing happens. Well for the last five days, amazing happens wherever Goran Dragic and the Phoenix Suns come to play. Their 102-94 win over the Pacers is just the latest in a string of incredible performances.

Tonight’s victory was the Suns’ fourth in a row, and it moved them to 4-0 on their Eastern Conference road trip. Phoenix led for all but the first two minutes of this one despite the fact that this was their fourth game in five nights. This was the Suns’ second win over the Pacers in nine days. Indiana is currently tops in the Eastern Conference standings and trails OKC by only two games for the best record in the NBA. The Suns scored more points in a half than any other Pacers’ opponent this season. They shot 53% from the field in the first half and led by 17 points at halftime. Their early success was mostly due to another incredible performance by Goran Dragic.

Though he missed out on an All Star selection (for now) the Dragon came out breathing fire. He had already netted 21 points and handed out five assists by halftime. Despite a litany of bumps and bruises, including a very swollen left elbow and a bruised knee, Goran was aggressive and quick from the jump. He pushed the ball up the floor every chance he got. He set the Pacers back on their heels and found teammates in great spots. Dragic was responsible for half of Phoenix’s first half baskets, and looked like the best player on the floor, despite the presence of Paul George and Roy Hibbert.

The Pacers clawed their way back in the third quarter, outscoring Phoenix 25-11 in the period. The Suns looked fatigued and frustrated as their shots stopped falling and the officials tightened up what had been a very physical game. The increase in whistles led to technicals for both PJ Tucker and Dragic, and spurred the Pacers to erase Phoenix’s double-digit lead.

Heading into the final frame, Indiana had all the momentum and trailed by just three, but the Suns never relinquished their lead, thanks primarily to the Morris twins. Marcus and Markieff combined for 16 of the Suns 25 points in the quarter. Their jumpers were falling, and they both were able to get to the rim and draw contact. When the Suns were backed up against the wall, the twins came through and saved the day.

This win and this road trip as a whole are major statements by the Suns. After their last road trip resulted in four close losses, to win four straight away from home is a big step for this team. For more analysis on tonight’s game, let’s look at our three preview questions.

Will the Suns become the second road team to score 100 points against the Pacers?

Yes sir. Phoenix is just the second team to defeat the Pacers at home this year. Indiana is now 21-2 on their home floor. After putting up 66 points in the first half, 100 seemed like a foregone conclusion for the Suns, but their impotent effort in the third quarter put the century mark in serious doubt. Phoenix broke triple digits with less than a minute left when P.J. Tucker corralled a long rebound off a Paul George miss and quickly underhand flipped a pass to a streaking Dragic who had just enough left in his legs to dunk it home. That breakaway put the Suns up by six, and put the nail in Indy’s coffin.

Can George Hill contain a banged-up Goran Dragic?

Not even a little bit. Despite carrying more than one injury into this game, Goran was unstoppable in the early going. He abused George Hill in transition and in the high pick and roll. Even with Hibbert protecting the rim, Dragic got clean looks at the hoop in the key and made the most of his opportunities going 8-of-12 from the field. In the second half, the Pacers switched Paul George onto Dragic which really slowed him down. After his big first half, Dragic managed just seven points and two assists in the second. But the added defensive pressure didn’t keep Dragic from contributing. Late in the fourth and leading by only two, Dragic was being guarded by George, which left George Hill on Gerald Green. Dragic smartly got the ball to Green who scored four straight points and kept the Suns’ lead intact.

Will Phoenix see Good Roy or Bad Roy?

This was Better Roy, but definitely not Best Roy. In the first half, Hibbert missed 8 of his 12 shots and had just one rebound. The Suns did an excellent job of making it tough for him to score and get clean looks at the hoop. In the second half, he was much more effective. He used his body to get great position and went 5-for-5 from the field. The Suns tried multiple defenders on him, but nothing short of his teammates refusing to pass him the ball could slow Hibbert down in the second half. He finished the game with 26 points and six rebounds. Under the circumstances, the Suns did their best against Roy, especially when you consider that he played nearly 38 minutes, yet Alex Len and Miles Plumlee combined for less than 28 minutes played. Phoenix actually hung with the Pacers on the boards, narrowly losing the battle 47-46. Indiana gave Hibbert no help on the boards. On both ends, he was often the only white and yellow jersey within 10 feet of the hoop.

And 1

  1. Lance Stephenson had a triple double – his fifth of the season – with 14 points and 10 rebounds and assists.
  2. Gerald Green’s decision making is much improved. Earlier in the year, he tended to get jumpshot happy, but now he is making the right decision on whether to drive or shoot nearly much more often.
  3. Two honest questions: 1) Is Goran Dragic the best guard at scoring in transition in the NBA? Is there a better trio of player in transition than Dragic, Green, and P.J. Tucker?
  4. Phoenix got 40 points from three bench players: Marcus (16), Markieff (15), and Leandro Barbosa (9). The second unit’s offense is much improved. They have introduced several new offensive sets, including a 1-4 high set with multiple screens on the block that produced several easy baskets.

Tags: Goran Dragic Indiana Pacers Phoenix Suns Phoenix Suns Recap

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    Miran, you know I love Frye, as long as he is sitting on someone else’s bench!

    I’m working on my travel plans right now. I have my passport and my I’m all set to venture out to Cervania for a wild time. I’ll be in touch!

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    Besides Rude, you know that I have that personality flaw that will not allow me to ignore BCrayZ. I’ve tried but when I read his posts my fingers just start typing away and before I know it, bam!!! A anti-Frye/LB post.

    Nothing personal BCrayZ. Just having fun with you.

  • SarverHater22

    Lol , whats up with this one troll with all the faux Laker praise ? ah , I bet its just probably Sarver himself , greasing Bledsoe’s departure ! heheh , Get lost Sarver .

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    No,, if you go to the Lakers sites that rumor has them drooling over Bledsoe. They think they are entitled since Sarver screwed them with Nash.

  • Smovich

    Since EBJM wants to chase me over at the BSotS and taunt me, while still trying to discredit me over here, I might as well hang here since there are more level headed fans here than over there. At least I can respond to one of his many usernames. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the fans fighting over stupid stuff isn’t all EBJM himself. Although I don’t think he is the Lacker’s troll (credit for Lackers name goes to Butler) but then again someone over at the Central did something similar…so who knows. The only thing I have to worry about is threats from EBJM to fight me. Well Houston is too far away for me to travel to so I will have to decline your invitation to fisticuffs upfront (might as well get that out of the way now).

    Anyway, I never would have thought when Bledsoe went down that the Suns would beat the Pacer’s even once. No disrespect to Goran either. People who know me know I love Dragich but he can’t do it alone. Green & the Morri’s have stepped it up big time and the addition of LB I think has been good. Frye is shooting well during this stretch and Len is playing like the 5th overall pick!

    Truly a special season to date.

    Enjoy the Ride!

  • Foreveris2long

    I think someone mentioned this article yesterday, Suns Rise From Ashes by Jonathon Abrams at Grantland. It is a great article about the rise of the Suns.Take a few minutes to read if you haven’t already. Props to whoever referenced it yesterday.

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    Smovich you have me confused with someone else. I love you like the little (well in your case younger but much taller) half-brother from my father’s affair!

  • vtsunrise

    Are we at 100 pages yet!? ;)

  • vtsunrise

    Did you just call him a bastard in a very smooth and charming albeit totally paternalistic way?

  • Smovich

    VT, he is clever. I will give him that for sure.

    EBJM – I definitely do not have you confused with someone else. It would be a challenge to forget you. Now, maybe one of your other personalities I could forget. Like the time on the Central where you paraded under a different username for a long, long time before someone caught on and blew your cover. I don’t remember that name. What was it again?Every time I see an internet bully, I wonder if it’s you, under a different name.

  • RudeCerveza

    I have this weird idea. Why don’t we all get back to AZC. We mostly know who we are now and nobody is there anyways… And I like Paul Coro and he needs clicks to survive

  • KOBEMVP

    Swaggy P is a Bigger snub than Goran Tragic.

    Don’t deny it

    #LakersNation

    #15Rings

  • vtsunrise

    @Rude:
    HAHAHA! After you, Alphonse!

  • vtsunrise

    I’m outta here. Have a nice weekend y’all, and GO SUNS!

  • Smovich

    You too, VT

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    VT I laughed my ass off for several minutes! That has to be one of your all-time best posts!

    Smovas I’m truly hurt. Internet bully? I guess it is a fine line from having engaging discussions and being a bully. I promise to scale it back some more.

    I don’t know which screen name you are talking about but my personal favorite was when I was Paul Coro! Now I fully admit that I had a blast until Paul Coro had me banned.

    Nevada Sunset?
    RandyMachoManSavage

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    As far as fighting you that would never happen.

    I’m 5′-10″ and 210#.

    It would be like Mike Tyson (in his Buster Douglas loss) fighting Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. You are way too big and younger than me.

  • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

    Hey Smovas you aren’t innocent either of posting as someone else. You got me real good over at AZC, I forget who you were posing as.

    Someone posing as me chased Mel off form this site and there has been a couple more copycat posts here using EBJM.

    But I’m not mad.

  • Smovich

    Heart you, EBJM

  • Smovich

    My changes were never meant to fool anyone. I had a lot of monikers, though.

    Jello Biafra, Smovich, Smovtat, I Slide Sideways, probably a few more. Good times!

    It only started to suck when we got the super troll. I felt especially bad because people were saying that I was posing as another user and giving SueB a hard time. I would never do that, especially to to her. She always improved the atmosphere when she posted.

    I’m not guilty when it comes to here either. I knew I couldn’t leave this place completely so I have been posting on here under the username, Bandwagon Fan. I think the only one I told was VT.

  • Smovich

    I mean I’m not innocent when it comes here…sheesh

  • Foreveris2long

    Rude, I am glad you are still on board. As much as I love Dragic at the beginning of the season I thought the Suns had to trade him. You slapped around and said if for no other reason than loyalty and talent, the Suns had to keep him. While I am not going to speculate about the future but keeping Dragic was one of the best things this team has done in years. He should be an all-star so I am hoping he gets that last spot. IMO the only person he is competing with is Anthony Davis who plays for the hometown Pelicans. Still Dragic’s team is where no one thought they will be and that should give him the nod.

  • SueB

    I love them Eastern Conference sweeps. The games are done before my bedtime (but not Hawki’s apparently), PLUS it’s a blast to listen to the stunned home-team announcers on the League Pass telecasts. And I could really get used to that little groaning sound those home-town fans kept making whenever Goran would go up for a shot.

    Way to go, Suns!

  • KDW

    The Sixers are reportedly dangling Turner and Hawes for Okafor and picks. Which would be kind of cool.

    But THIS would be even better. :)

    http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=mmygkl6

  • Melon Man

    AZC was fun back in the day. I have fond memories of getting screwed at Bill Luke Dodge and creating the screen name BillLukeDodgeSucks. That got banned. Then it was BillLukeMakeYaPuke which also got banned. It was funny because if you typed the banned screen names as part of a comment it showed up as “(inappropriate content)”. I had so many names over there… good times.

  • John

    Does anybody know in NBA history if a team which didn’t have one all star, went on to win the championship in that same year?

  • Foreveris2long

    John I do not know for a fact but my $.02 says it has not happened in the last 40 years. I thought back to a .500 team winning a championship and realized the Rockets won one year when they were 40-42. However they had Olojowan and Sampson so clearly they had an all-star. Great question.

  • john

    @John

    I don’t know for sure, but I would bet quite a bit that has never happened. Off the top of my head, two teams I can think of that MIGHT fit that bill would be the ’78 Bullets and the ’79 Sonics.

  • Foreveris2long

    KDW, Just my opinion but I would not give up a 1st round pick for what Philly is offering. I think we need a power forward and Hawes is a stretch center. Turner is a big guard.
    Nah, I would pass if I was McD.

  • john

    Just checked it out because I was curious about those two names. Those Bullets had beast mode Elvin Hayes and Jack Sikma somehow made the ASG in ’79 despite extremely pedestrian numbers and probably not even being the best guy on his team.

    So, I’d bet quite a bit no NBA champion has ever lacked an all-star.

  • John

    Thanks for the responses re: my question on all stars and championships guys!

    @Foreveris2long, I feel the same way about what the Suns lack is a power forward and every time I think about it, the round mound of rebound comes to mind, if only he was 20 years younger.

  • John

    @john, Wes Unseld, Phil Chenier, and Kevin Grevey were on that Bullet team as well. Seems to me Chenier had at least one 50pt. game that year. Don’t know if any of them were all stars that year but Unseld was multi year all star.

  • KDW

    Forever, what about:

    Philly receives Okafor, Dante Cunningham, our first rounder, and cash.
    Minn receives Turner, Hawes, & Markeiff
    Phx receives Kevin Love.

    The salaries work. And I’d pull the trigger on that one in a second.

  • foreveris2long

    KDW, While I am not a huge Love fan, I think if you can get a guy like that who is a double double every night and essentially you only give up Markief and a 1st round pick, you have to do it. I just do not see Minny giving him up now while they are playing well and are in the playoff hunt.

  • Dave:f32

    Latest mid-season draft projections for the Phoenix Suns 1st round picks:

    18.) Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky

    23.) PJ Hairston, SG, Texas Legends

    30.) James Michael McAdoo, PF, UNC

  • Dave:f32
  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    Buss is dead. Kobe is still selfish, but now also beat up and old. They even have to give the Suns their top 2015 pick (top five protected).

    The reality is the Lakers will be a disaster for the next ten years.

    Book it.

  • Luka

    It’s embarrassing how little credit the Suns are getting. ESPN and TNT kept yapping about Stephenson. What about Dragic? It’s okay though. Use it as motivation. Let the nation sleep on this team.

  • Bam

    Man, i got to say that the current Suns team has really gotten my respect and i guess i will be keeping tab on them much more nowadays.
    I always had a soft spot for teams who are neglected by the mainstream media (ESPN and TNT) who tends to overhype certain players (like James Harden, ewwwwww, look at his flops and disgusting efficiency numbers), while totally neglecting good players like Dragic, who in all honesty, has been really really good since last season, just that he has a much better supporting cast around him now.

    Hope this team can go into the playoffs, and possible create something which everyone doesnt expect, maybe a final appearance or something. It strongly reminds me of the recent Mavericks Title team who i had been following before the title for several years, who basically get ignored most of the time for contention in mainstream media.

    Have to say that the 180 degrees about turn of this organization is real, and even if this season didnt turn out that good, the future is with this franchise.

  • SarverHater22

    lets trade Okafor to Dallas for my all-time fave Matrix and let him rightfully retire as a Sun , still cant forgive Sarver and Kerr for running him out of town .

    Suns 4ever

  • BCrayZ

    Love Matrix’s game also.

    Save Okafur’s contract for an even bigger fish.

    Just send them our defensively challenged twins plus a pick. They will get younger & save. Suns will get better right away. Playoff push? This will open up both a roster spot & a rotation spot. Fill that spot by signing Louis. Free agent still, just like Barbosa was. Make it so Ryan.

    MUST reunite “that killer bench unit.” Let’s go SUNS!!!!

  • SarverHater22

    @BCrazy , I could do w/o Marcus, but I still would like Kieff to hang around for a little while , maybe Kieff will be our new Maurice Lucas someday eh ? heheh
    Just kidding about the Okafor for Matrix trade ,indeed Suns need Okafor’s contract for bigger purposes .
    but everytime I remember my super fave Matrix getting disrespected by Sarver and Co., I just shake my head…I would love to see Shawn retire with the Suns .
    Haha , its nice to see you call for the Suns’ super 2010 bench to be reunited , only J-Dud and “Louisa” Amundson missing, lol