Suns Drop Close One to Clippers 102-96

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The Phoenix Suns dropped a close game to the Los Angeles Clippers tonight by a score of 102-96.  This game was back and forth throughout until the Clippers sealed the deal late in the fourth quarter.  The Suns have now dropped eight in a row to the Clippers.

Looking at the box score of this game makes for an interesting experience.  One would think that in a game where the Suns out-rebounded the Clippers by 8 (+12 on offensive rebounds), turned the ball over less, and outscored them by 12 in the paint, they would have easily won the game.  The statistic that brings this game back to reality is field goal percentage.  The Suns only managed to shoot 36.7% from the field while the Clippers cashed in on 45.1% of their shots.

“Basketball is a game of runs” is how the old saying goes, and fits tonight’s game perfectly.  The Suns brought a 14-3 run into the second quarter and looked to be in charge.  The Clippers then instantly returned with their own, outscoring the Suns 15-0 to put them ahead 7 midway through the second quarter.  They stretched that into a 22-2 run to extend the lead to 12 towards the end of the first half.  The third quarter featured a 10-0 Suns run that brought them right back into the game.  The Clippers went on to slowly, but steadily retake control in the 4th, taking advantage of missed Suns FT’s along with getting hot from the field themselves.

Tyson Chandler notched his second double-double on the season finishing with 14 points and 17 rebounds.  His presence in the paint has been very noticeable and beneficial to the Suns already this season.  After a slow start to the game, Markieff Morris netted 19 points on 7-22 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds.   The Suns big men did a good job containing the Clippers front court duo, but Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan did just enough to turn the game in their favor.

Griffin scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the way for the Clippers.  Griffin has made huge strides in his outside shooting and ball-handling skills, which he put on show tonight.   Jordan had a quiet statistical game, only grabbing 9 rebounds and managing 7 points, but played a big role in clogging up the lane and making the Suns take difficult shots inside.  There were numerous possessions throughout the game where he altered a shot or coerced a Sun to dribble back out of the paint.  Chris Paul was the second leading scorer for the team, putting in 17 points while running the point for the victorious Clippers.

The backcourt duo of Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe played a solid game together, combining for 28 points, 15 assists, 11 rebounds, and 4 steals.  Bledsoe got into early foul trouble, giving veteran Ronnie Price big minutes off the bench.  Price had a nice night, pestering the opposing point guard on defense while hitting a trio of three-pointers and picking up a couple assists.  T.J. Warren played his usual game, making nice cuts to the basket and having a knack for being in the right place at the right time.  Warren compiled 11 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in 21 minutes.

The Suns host the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night, November 4th.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 MST.

Charlie Erling

Long-standing Phoenix Suns fan, longer-standing burrito enthusiast.

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