It got a little closer than it needed to be at the end as the Phoenix Suns came one blown call away from giving up a 12-point lead in the final three minutes of the game. Grant Hill ended the New Orleans Hornets comeback with a block on a Marcus Thornton layup attempt that would have sent things to overtime. In the replay, the ball can be seen hitting the back board before Hill blocked it but the goal tending call wasn't made and the Suns held on to win their second game in a row.
"I thought (David) West was going to shoot it but he passed it. It was a great play on his part, I was just trying to come over. It was debatable whether it was legal but it was legal because the refs didn't call it," Hill said about the play.
Needless to say, the point of view from the Hornets side was a bit less sanguine.
"It's the NBA and I guess I have to get more experience to get that call. That's the most hurtful thing; our guys fought it out to the end and to not get that call, that's the hurtful thing," Thornton said.
In the end, the game shouldn't have come down to that one play as the Suns had built a comfortable lead behind solid defense -- holding the Hornets to 42.1 percent shooting -- and a balanced offensive attack that mixed up pick and roll scoring and three point shooting.
The Suns are getting better pick and roll play between Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat who led the Suns with yet another career-high scoring night (25 points). It's his third-straight game where he's set a new career-high.
Stepping in for the injured Goran Dragic, Zabian Dowdell played well in his first full game as the backup point guard. He had four points and four assists in 13 minutes but most importantly, the team was able to hold steady while Nash rested in the fourth quarter.
This is the second straight win for the Suns over a team considered to be in the top tier of the NBA but in both cases the opponent had played the night before and was banged up. You can only play the teams that are on the schedule and you still have to win. But even Grant Hill had some reservations about saying the corner has been turned.
"I think we're starting to come together. You're always kind of hesitant to say that with us, but seven out of the last 10 (wins)...we're starting to get confidence, we're starting to get a feel for one another and a comfort level with the new guys," Hill said.