USA TODAY Sports
Charlotte almost gets back in the game after being down 30 with a fourth quarter rally.
In his pregame media session, Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said that there was one thing he knew about the Charlotte Bobcats -- "they play extremely, extremely hard." He noted how they came back on Tuesday night against the Lakers. Then, on Wednesday night, after the Suns built up a 30-point lead, the Bobcats went on an early run in the fourth quarter. Gentry made changes and the Suns came away with a 121-104 win.
It was a very good game for the Suns. They shot the ball well -- over 55 percent for the game. They hit 17 of 28 three-pointers. They were defending. But then, at the start of the fourth quarter, they let up and the Bobcats went on an 8-0 run to start the final frame.
Gentry was furious and pulled Sebastian Telfair, Michael Beasley and Markieff Morris, replacing them with the starters. Goran Dragic, who had 21 points and 11 assists, was surprised when he went back in because he thought his night was over.
Gentry had a message to send. "We have to do a better job of staying in the moment and finishing the job," he said after the game. "We have to make sure that if you're on the floor that you understand who you are playing against and you understand the intensity which the game is going to be."
Why did he put the starters back in so early in the fourth? "They didn't play the right way, so I made some substitutions." "They" apparently were Telfair, Morris and Beasley. Gentry noted things were not getting done like staying in for rebounds. Instead, they were leaking out to try and get to the offensive end.
Obviously, it was likely a result of the huge lead they had on a bad team, but Gentry said, "That's no excuse, it really isn't. Not if you're going to be a good team."
In the end, it was a win, so there is that, and there were some positives.
"I though we shot well because we had good ball movement," said Gentry, The team hit 17 three-pointers, and it was off of good ball rotation, making the Bobcats players move around.
Shannon Brown was a huge spark. He scored 18 third quarter points alone and had 26 for the game. In this case, it was all in the rhythm of the offense. On Wednesday, Brown said, "we were moving the ball and finding one another and that opens the ball for each other."
The win makes the Suns' fourth straight, coming after a seven-game losing streak. They now stand at 11-15 on the season. They play next the Blazers in Portland on Saturday.