Suns’ comeback falls short, Pacers win 97-94

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The Phoenix Suns looked depleted, but were able to make a thrilling comeback late in the fourth quarter.  The Suns dug themselves a hole that was a little too deep and were not able to grab a late lead.

There was a major issue at the end of the game.  The Suns were down by three points after making a shot.  The Pacers clearly handed the ball off on the inbounds play instead of passing the ball.  Handing the ball off from out of bounds is a turnover.  The officials did not even review the play.  A replay of the “pass” showed that the ball was clearly handed off.

The Pacers were led by Monta Ellis who finished with 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals.  He hit every clutch shot that he needed to late in the game.  Paul George also had a good game as many would expect.  Last week, when these two teams played, George was relatively quiet.  Tonight he made a difference with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and four steals.

Turnovers were a huge issue for the Suns tonight.  They had 22 total turnovers and Brandon Knight had eight of them, six coming in the first half.  It’s almost impossible to win a game with this many turnovers.  If these would have been limited, the Suns would have been in a much better position to win the game.

Injuries also plagued the Suns tonight.  Jon Leuer was out, Markieff Morris went down with a shoulder injury, and Mirza Teletovic came out of the game with an ankle injury.  This left the Suns without a power forward and forced them to go with an even smaller squad than usual.  Hopefully these injuries are nothing serious.

Which Suns Shone the Brightest?

1. Devin Booker – Booker had a game high, career high 32 points.  He also had two assists.  At times it looked like he was the only Sun who was interested in giving any effort.  His defense is improving and he is one of the main reasons that I continue to watch the Suns this season.

2. P.J. Tucker – Tucker quietly had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  He also added five assists.  Tucker has a glue guy personality that is helpful to any team.  His contribution was big tonight.

The Suns will look to regroup before they head to San Antonio to face the Spurs on Thursday, January 21 at 8:30 pm Mountain Time.  It can be seen on TNT.

Mitch Krmpotich

Gonzaga University class of 2016. I'm a longtime college basketball writer and a big NBA fan. I'm also a die hard Broncos, Avalanche, Zags, and Suns fan.

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