With the scuffling New York Knicks coming into town, a Suns win became imperative as the NBA Playoffs are approaching on the horizon.
On the back of fringe MVP candidate Goran Dragic, the Suns blew out the weary traveling Knicks by a final of 112-88, with Dragic leading the way with 32 points.
The game never quite resembled much of a contest, as the Suns had 62 points at halftime and lead by a tantalizing 22 points before the Knicks could come back out for the second half. Corralling Carmelo Anthony became imperative in order to slow down the New York attack and based on his final line of just 21 points and seven rebounds, it was mission accomplished.
In a night where the Suns welcomed Amar’e Stoudemire back to the Valley, the former all-star put his once elite talents on display as he finished the night with 18 points and six rebounds, a vague reminder of days gone by. Amar’e undoubtedly still has many fans in Phoenix as he was the shining hope of a franchise for many years, but he opted for the pomp and pageantry of New York, ultimately, getting what he wanted—money over wins.
Domination in the paint and in transition were the keys to Phoenix literally running away to victory. While the Suns went for 46 points in the paint, in accordance to the Knicks 24, and the 26 fast break points outpaced the Knicks paltry eight, the speed game helped the home club dominate in front of a packed crowd at the US Airways Center.
Thirteen players got to see action on the night, with all of them but Ish Smith getting into the scoring column. Miles Plumlee pitched in a double-double in just 23 minutes of action with his 11 points and 12 rebounds, outplaying his big man counterpart in Tyson Chandler, who struggled mightily, going basketless on the night.
The length of the Suns played a major factor, as both Morris twins were a matchup nightmare for the litany of Knickerbockers that attempted to matchup against them. With the Knicks being heavily guard oriented, there was not nearly enough size to cover the athleticism of both Morris twins–who stretched the floor and finished with a combined 25 points and 13 rebounds. Markieff finished as the second-highest scorer and rebounder for the club on the evening.
As the Suns transition from the major city on the East Coast, to the one on the West Coast, they goal of defeating the team’s they should be beat, does not change. While the Lakers play a pesky style of basketball, their talent level does not nearly match up with that of the Suns. Be sure to tune in Sunday night at 6:30 PM as the Suns go Hollywood and clash with the Kobe-less Lakers at Staples Center.