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Suns Start Badly, Bench Finishes Strong In 115-103 Loss To Celtics

The Phoenix Suns started off Wednesday evening's game against the Boston Celtics playing like a team that had just gotten done with two back-to-back overtime wins on buzzer-beating shots and was ready for a breather. So, they took the first three quarters of the game off, falling behind by as many as 29 points before the bench -- led by new guard Aaron Brooks, Jared Dudley, and Marcin Gortat -- got things to within single digits in the fourth.

But at that point, it wasn't enough. Ultimately, the Suns came away with only a moral victory, one that solidified Brooks' place on the team, having led the Suns with 17 points (on 6-of-7 shooting) and seven assists in his 21 minutes on the court. He was almost single-handedly responsible for -- stealing a Twitter quote here -- changing the second-half from garbage time to crunch time. Dudley, as part of his 15 points, had eight straight to kick-start an 18-0 Suns run across the end of the third quarter and the start of the fourth. The Polish Hammer finished with another double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) and three blocked shots.

The last meeting between the two teams was memorable for Kevin Garnett's crotch-shot on Channing Frye, and this game was feisty, as well. Garnett didn't do anything particularly out of the ordinary, but the game featured technical fouls called on "nice guys" Grant Hill and Steve Nash, and an unsportsmanlike three-pointer taken by Rajon Rondo at the end of the game with the victory in hand. But, keeping in line with the Suns' recent chippiness, Dudley laid Rondo out in response.

The 115-103 loss broke the first four-game winning streak of the Suns' season, and left Phoenix 3-1 after the first four games of their six-game road swing. They'll face off against the Milwaukee Bucks (sans Andrew Bogut) on Friday evening.