With the Phoenix Suns rallying from 18 points down in the second half to tie the game at the end of regulation, you get a mix of what you hate to see and what you love to see. Phoenix once again had a very bad third quarter, falling behind by as many as 18 points, but then the identity of the team once again appears -- they don't give up.
Ultimately the hole was too big to climb out of as they never could get the lead once down by that much.
The game started just the way that the Sun wanted to. They were only down two points after one quarter and got almost all their offense from Goran Dragic and Luis Scola. Dragic had 10 in the quarter and Phoenix was on pace for over 100 points.
The keys for the the Suns were to rebound and to push the ball. They felt that if they could get to 100 they would have a great shot at winning.
But points off turnovers in the second and third quarters did them in and built the Chicago lead. Phoenix went from four points up to seven points down in just a matter of a couple of minutes, mostly triggered by turnovers. At one point, Chicago scored a basket and stole the inbound pass when it caromed off the bottom of the backboard and scored. Then the Suns turned the ball over again and Richard Hamilton was fouled, hitting a free throw.
Still, Alvin Gentry was positive after the game. The team outrebounded Chicago and scored 100 points. The problem? They shot only 40 percent for the game. "We just have to find a way to get the ball in the bucket," he commented after the game.
"We dig ourselves a hole and get down 18 points in the second half, you put yourself in a perfect storm situation," said Gentry. "We can get back, but to get all the way back and over the hump is impossible."
That is exactly what happened. They got the tying bucket with nine second left in regulation and never got the lead. Then, overtime, they never led either. They just ran out of gas.
Sebastian Telfair said the team was energized by being at home. He said that when a team gets down by 20 on the road, "it's over." He said that he was motivated by the fans and even heard a smattering of boos, which made him want to turn things around. His four three-pointers, despite only 5/13 shooting overall, were part of the Suns' rally.
Even with the loss, Alvin Gentry was not unhappy. He said that, after nine games, it is "all part of the process" of getting to know his players and his players getting to know him.
According to Gentry, "Somewhere a long the line something good will happen."
Pieces and parts are there. If the shots start falling, Gentry will be right. They will start winning those game they aren't supposed to.
- Forward Markieff Morris was injured when he hit the floor hard. It was not his tailbone, according to the team which is a positive thing. Gentry said it wasn't probably anything more than a bruise, but that he would be really sore tomorrow. Morris was using crutches in the locker room and was clearly in a lot of pain, moving very gingerly even with the crutches.
- Luis Scola was the Suns' bright spot on offense, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
- Defensively, they held the Bulls to only 4/11 shooting in the fourth quarter. Chicago shot 5/11 in overtime.
- Michael Beasley was 2/13 in regulation for six points. He was 2/2 in overtime and scored the team's only six points in the OT period.
- Goran Dragic scored 10 first quarter points, but only another two the rest of the way. He said the Bulls started "almost double-teaming" him, so he would try to find an open teammate. He said the Bulls "defend very well."