The Resiliency of the Phoenix Suns is the real X factor

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Nowhere was this more prevalent than in the Phoenix Suns’ monumental win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Wow. I am struggling to get past that one word. Wow. The Phoenix Suns battled adversity all night long against the Dallas Mavericks. You named it, it happened. Low energy out the gate. Luka Doncic feasting on the offensive end. Dubious foul calls (and I am trying to stay measured as I describe it) all game long. There was no shortage to the issues for Phoenix.

By the middle of the third quarter, both Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton had five fouls apiece.

I repeat.

Five fouls for the Suns centerpieces in Booker and Ayton.

But this is where the strength of the 2020 Phoenix Suns came into play in a major way. Their resiliency. All season long there have been injuries, a key suspension, roster flux. Through it all, the Suns battled, shocking fans and critics alike with their resolve.

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When Ayton and Booker exited with seven minutes left in the third quarter, Cam Johnson, Cameron Payne, Dario Saric, and Jevon Carter helped Phoenix to go on a 29-9 run, through sheer effort and three-point shotmaking.

Ultimately the Suns outscored the Mavs 36 to 19 in the third, taking a slight lead into the fourth, where Carter stepped up big on the defensive end with a few understated highlight plays. From there, Phoenix played out the line with Dallas, taking it down to the finish even after Booker fouled out with under three minutes remaining in the contest.

Against all odds, the Phoenix Suns are still in the mix in this race to the western conference eight seed.

This game showcased the strength in the culture of this team, from the top down. The Suns have scrapped and fought and this contest was an almost perfect encapsulation of that. Despite refs, a sluggish start, and a powerful opponent in Dallas, Phoenix was able to keep it close, make things interesting, muck it up, and when they were able to take an advantage they did and held on.

Improbably, almost impossibly, the Suns are now just two and a half games back of the ninth seed with six remaining and a 2-0 lead so far. That is very, very good for a team that has earned and is quite frankly making the most of the opportunity. If they can keep this effort and play up, we may see even more spectacular results down the stretch.

Next. Dario Saric’s new role a boon in the Phoenix Suns win. dark