The Clippers went on a wild roller coaster ride in Phoenix, peaking when Matt Barnes lifted the team's spirits with a monster third quarter run and finishing off with a solid stance against a furious Suns run.

Basketball is funny sometimes. It's funny how you can go into halftime with your two best players struggling, with your defense ceding numerous extra possessions and with your offense stalling out with inefficient isolations, and emerge from the lockerroom with the poise to morph from the subdued to the aggressor. It's funny how a team can play excellent basketball on both ends of the floor, flustering Blake Griffin on every touch in the post, forcing Chris Paul into uncharacteristic mistakes out of the pick-and-roll, making the most of second chance opportunities, and have it all slip away in a matter of minutes, in a matter of a few possessions.

After the Clippers came out of the gate strong, establishing a 16-7 lead mid-way through the first quarter, the Suns settled down and began executing their gameplan on both ends of the floor. They contained the Clippers' cornucopia of pick-and-rolls by dropping their bigs back, they made life difficult on Blake Griffin by mixing up their looks and they attacked the backline of the Clipper defense by making the skip pass to the weakside corner and by crashing the boards any chance they got.

The Suns' push in the final moments of the first half gave them an 11-point halftime lead. To this point, the game didn't feel all that different than the first meeting between these two teams when the Suns effectively contained both Paul and Griffin and won by 19 on the Clippers home floor. But within the first couple of minutes of the third quarter, Matt Barnes made it clear that there would be a different result this time around. Barnes made the first basket of the half for the Clips - a left wing three off of some great ball movement - and continued to score 13 of the Clippers next 15 points, knocking down three more threes during that span.

Barnes' outburst completely swung the game. After his fourth three of the period went down, the Suns noticeably lost some confidence and started playing carelessly on both ends, breaking down defensively and losing their composure on the offensive end. The Suns would regain their flow in the fourth quarter because Jeff Hornacek is a great coach and he was able to rally his troops despite the Clips' 37-18 run in the third, but the Suns let up long enough for the Clippers to make up for their poor effort in the first half, erasing their deficit and even building a decent sized lead that helped them stay in front when the inevitable Suns run occurred in the fourth.