Well, it's almost over and both of these lottery teams were playing for nothing. In fact, you could easily argue that both teams would be better served by losing the game and improving their chances to get a higher draft pick. But the players on both side of the court gave a good show and a ton of effort in a thrilling overtime win for the home town Phoenix Suns.
The effort on the Suns' side was there, for most of the players, but the defensive focus was lacking. Minnesota scored 65 point in the first half on 61.7 percent shooting. Coach Alvin Gentry was not pleased.
"Good win, but obviously we weren't very good defensively...We got beat off the dribble; we got beat on post ups; we got beat on flash cuts -- so we didn't guard very good at all in the first half."
They gave up 62 points in the second half as well.
The Timberwolves were led by their pair of young, highly talented, otherwise unwanted forwards: Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph. Beasley showed a fire and passion on the court that had been missing in the past and displayed exceptional isolation skills against solid defense from Grant Hill. He finished with 26 points on 11-20 shooting.
Randolph was effective against less mobile Suns big men and scored 24 points on 10-20 shooting and also nabbed 10 boards.
The Suns were propelled by the career-high nine threes from Channing Frye and Jared Dudley's perfect 5-5 night from long range.
Game rotations were purposely designed to take a look at bench players in different situations. With Vince Carter sitting this one out with a "hip contusion", Aaron Brooks (5 points, 5 assists, 18 min.) was out-played by Zabian Dowdell (8 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, 15 min.). They traded time playing point with Zabian looking far more effective running the team.
Robin Lopez didn't play at all as the Suns wanted to get a look at Garret Siler in more realistic game situations. Some in the organization think he can be a backup to Marcin Gortat at center next season. Siler didn't impress in his 12 minutes of play, finishing with just two points, five rebounds, and four fouls.
In other former Suns news, Goran Dragic got the start tonight for Houston against the Dallas Mavericks. He finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals and just one turnover.
The Suns have one more game left in the season on Wednesday against the Spurs. San Antonio will likely rest their starters as they prepare for the playoffs giving the Suns a good shot at winning 40 games on the season.
For more on this game visit Bright Side of the Sun.