The Suns would love to return to their beautiful brand of basketball. Until then, winning ugly is better than losing pretty. The Suns won despite 37.6 percent shooting Tuesday night at Denver and had to overcame their turnover issues and a 10-point second-half hole Wednesday night to beat Boston 100-94 at US Airways Center. Playing on consecutive nights after huffing and puffing through an overtime win Tuesday night, the Suns faced a fresh Boston team that had been in Phoenix since Monday and had not played in a week. Eventually, the Suns had enough explosive moments with 30 fast-break points, 11 3-pointers and a 17-0 run to outlast Boston’s meager 39.1 percent shooting offense. “We were a little tired, a little exhausted, and I think we had some mental breakdowns; but other than that, I think we just battle and grind it out,” Suns power forward Channing Frye said. The Suns (32-21) stayed in control with a lead for the entire first half but never could pull away from the Celtics (19-36) because 14 first-half turnovers continuously let Boston close double-digit deficits to two or three. Boston turned turnovers into 18 points to trail only 52-50 at halftime despite more hot scoring from Suns guard Gerald Green, who had a 12-point first half to follow games of 27, 25 and 36 points. The Suns’ sloppiness, marred by five first-half turnovers from Green and four by center Miles Plumlee, negated a 51.2 percent shooting first half that featured 17 fast-break points and Goran Dragic’s penetration against Boston’s Rajon Rondo. “We should have been up at least 15 points by half,” Dragic said. “Maybe we are not focused enough.” When the second half opened, the Suns fell into the offensive ails that cropped up often at Denver, where they missed 11 consecutive shots in one stretch. Against Boston, the Suns lost their lead for the first time when they missed eight of their first 10 second-half shots. Meanwhile, Boston forward Brandon Bass had turned hot to help the Celtics surge to a 70-61 lead that could have been worse if not for Dragic’s two blocks on Rondo drives.
Suns come up big in second half against Celtics, 100-94
Arizona Republic | Feb 20