Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE

Phoenix Suns vs. New Orleans: Suns fall behind big but rally back for overtime win

The Hornets opened a 19-point lead, but the Suns were able to come all the way back and pulled out a 111-108 win in overtime.

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PJ Tucker drives Suns' OT win over Hornets

The Phoenix Suns came out on top in overtime versus the New Orleans Hornets, but getting there wasn't easy.


Don't Call It A Winning Streak? Suns Neat Hornets

This game paralleled eerily similar to the Phoenix Suns only other overtime game of the season almost down to a T. Just like nine days ago, they got behind by massive margin, and then had to fight and claw back into the game.

So basically the Suns had them right where they wanted them.

"We got behind again, which I wish we could avoid doing, but we have a tendency when we do to tighten up our defense and do a good job. We went from being down 19 to being up 11 so that is a pretty good swing. We couldn't quite close it out. We had a couple of great looks that we could have gotten in that would have extended the lead, but you have to give them credit the way they just hung in there."

As much as Coach Gentry does not want this to be a trend, it is becoming the identity of the team. The second unit just plays with more intensity than the starter because that is what those guys do best.

What he is he going to do, have the bench start for the first five minutes and then run the starters out there?

In this type of game performances need to come from unexpected places, which is exactly what the team got from Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker, and Jermaine O'Neal. They actually got career nights from Morris and Tucker and a turn-back-the-clock night from O'Neal.

Morris finished with a career high 23 points as he iced the game down from the free-throw line in overtime giving satisfaction to a very strong night.

"My confidence is on another level. I'm playing hard and I feel like my defense is bringing my offense," said Morris. "I just got in the gym. I told you back then when I was missing they would start falling and they are falling now."

That was complimented by an offensive out-burst, another career-high, and an overall great performance from Tucker with 15 points. Those 15 points came in a variety of ways as Tucker nailed two straight threes, got to the free-throw line and is relishing being played off of on the offensive end.

"I love it," exclaimed Tucker after the game. "Cheat off and I am going to shoot it and knock it down. Whatever happens happens, like I said I just play hard."

O'Neal didn't have a career night, he is a former All-Star, but as one Suns employee said after the game, "career high for Morris, Tucker, and the most points from O'Neal in a really, really long time."

Two reserves and a former reserve led the way in a major win before the team hits the road for the next 11 days. Don't call it a win streak, but the Suns have won two in a row.


Suns complete comeback, win 111-108

The Suns won their second straight game, knocking off New Orleans, 111-108, in overtime.


New Orleans Present Unique Match-Ups For Suns

The Phoenix Suns (5-7) hosting the New Orleans Hornets (3-7) has lost some of it's luster as a point guard battle with both of the main eventers heading over to Los Angeles in the off-season. Both of them. Now the door is open for the young guys to step out of their shadows, spreading their wings as basketball players.

That will be an interesting match-up with Greivis Vasquez and Goran Dragic running the show respectively now. Vasquez, as Head Coach Alvin Gentry described is a, "a herky jerky" type player and is having a good start to the season. He will have Roger Mason Jr. to lean on now in the starting line-up as he replaces rookie Austin Rivers as has struggled early on.

Dragic has played very well on both ends of the floor, which is something that Vasquez does as well.

This new point guard duel will not have the same panache as the Nash-Paul showdowns. For the most part this will be a controlled, defensive game where the bench and the three-point line will be the determining factor in who inches closer to .500 on the season.

Part of that will be playing with two different styles depending on which unit is in the game at the time. Will they run two different styles depending on the unit on the floor?

"It could be, it definitely could be," said Coach Gentry before the game. "One of the things we try to do is be consistent in everything we do, but I also think as a coach you have to be able to make adjustments. That is what I try to tell the guys all the time, you have to be able to adjust."

Time will tell if the adjustments are for the better or just short-term band-aids on a much larger issue.

Starting Line-Ups

PG - Goran Dragic v. Greivis Vasquez

SG - Shannon Brown v. Roger Mason Jr.

SF - Michael Beasley v. Al-Farouq Aminu

PF - Markieff Morris v. Ryan Anderson

C - Marcin Gortat v. Robin Lopez

Suns Inactives: N/A

Hornets Inactives: Anthony Davis (foot)

Monty Williams on Robin Lopez this year:

"He has done a great job trying to anchor our defense. I had no idea he worked that hard and he is growing every day. He is a sponge man, he is playing well. This is a big game for him and we are going to try to win it for him."

More Monty on playing the Suns:

"I always feel like playing against Coach Gentry you get a team that executes well. He still has a mix of D'Antoni's offense, which is something that Coach Gentry worked under for a few years. They attack you in transition. They run zone a little bit. They have guys who can shoot the ball with Morris and (Marcin) Gortat backing to the basket that is as dynamic as you can get. They are doing a good job."

Interesting Stat: December 25th, 2008

That was not only Christmas Day in the valley, but also the day Roger Mason Jr, then with the San Antonio Spurs, knocked down a game winning three against the Suns as time expired. Of course, it was with the Spurs. GUARD THE CORNER GUYS!

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