Feb 5, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) guards Phoenix Suns shooting guard Goran Dragic (1) during the second half at the Toyota Center. Dragic leads his team with 23 points. The Rockets defeated the Suns 122-108. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Suns Defense Falters In Loss To Rockets

Feb 5, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) guards Phoenix Suns power forward Marcus Morris (15) during the second half at the Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Suns 122-108. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Suns couldn’t catch a break in Houston tonight, as they dropped their second straight to the Rockets 122-108. The Suns fell behind early, but continued to stay in it. Just like last night against the Bulls, they just could not manage to get over the hump. Midway through the final quarter, the Suns cut the lead to four points, but the defense ground to a halt, allowing the Rockets to rebuild their lead.

It was a very even statistical game. Both teams had 13 turnovers, and the Suns grabbed 12 offensive boards to Houston’s five. Normally it is the Suns who have difficulty on the offensive glass. The Suns also were close behind in points in the paint (50-44). The key stat was that Houston shot 54% and went 11-16 from behind the arc. The Suns shot 8-30 from that range. Three-point shooting has been their niche this year, and the past few nights they have had immense difficulty from long range. Hopefully they can sort that out.  The Rockets also got 33 points from the charity stripe, as opposed to 16 by the Suns.

Goran Dragic took the lead for the Suns, putting up 24 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and three steals, He is currently on a career-long streak of games with 20+ points with six straight.  P.J. Tucker added 13 points and five rebounds, including four offensive ones. Markieff Morris put up his twelfth consecutive double figure game with 12 points.

Key Suns had a cold night too. Channing Frye shot 3-11 from the floor and didn’t grab a single rebound. As a starting power forward, that just doesn’t work. Gerald Green added 13 points, byut shot 2-7 from deep. Again, they’ve got to get out of this slump to get back on track.

The Suns drop to 29-20 with this loss. They still have a decent hold on the playoff spot, but they need to get back on track. They’ll return home on Saturday to take on Steph Curry and the Warriors.

 

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