After going 2-1 on their road trip, the Suns returned home to square off against the Orlando Magic. While the game looked easy on paper, the Magic fought hard, giving the Suns a challenge until the fourth quarter, where the Suns uncorked the bottle. The game ended in a 109-93 win for the Suns.
The first half was not the Suns best performance. Magic center Nikola Vucevic was ejected midway through the first quarter. Despite this, the game was tied 52-52 at the half. Neither team led by more than seven points until midway through the third quarter, when the Suns began a 23-3 run that extended early into the final quarter. The Suns defense struggled in the first half, but stepped up in the second. They held Orlando to 40 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers.
The defense transitions to fastbreak points, which the Suns had 25 of. This is the kind of defense the Suns need to play on this last run if they want to make the playoffs. In fact, if the Suns could bottle up the last 16 minutes of this game and play like that, they would be very, very tough to beat. The offense was efficient and fast, and the defense was stout and well-executed.
Goran Dragic led with 18 points and six assists. Several of his baskets cam on fastbreaks with the help of backcourt buddy Eric Bledsoe. Bledsoe struggled with shooting, scoring only seven points, but he also had sic rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. His passing was excellent, as he orchestrated several of the fastbreaks. Miles Plumlee also helped out with 10 points(five dunks) and nine boards. Gerald Green also was a factor. He started 1 of 5 shooting, but ended 6-10 and a huge impact in the Suns late run.
The Suns rookies had a impressive flash of skill. Alex Len and Archie Goodwin scored the first seven Suns points of the first half. Len finished with nine points and five boards and Archie Goodwin finished with five points.
The Suns improve to 39-29 with this victory. They sit 1.5 games back from the final playoff spot. The Suns have tomorrow off before they host Andre Drummond and the big Detroit Pistons.