It’s always tough when you fight back from an double-digit deficit only to fall in overtime.
It’s even tougher when you lose a player in the process.
That’s what happened to the Phoenix Suns Wednesday night at US Airways Center. In what’s becoming more than a trend, the Suns fell behind the Chicago Bulls by 18 points late in the third quarter before rallying and ultimately falling 112-106 in overtime.
With 18 seconds left in regulation, forward Markieff Morris got tangled with Chicago’s Luol Deng while going for an offensive rebound and came down hard on his back. Morris limped into the locker room and didn’t return.
A day later, Morris was still hurting at Suns practice.
“He’s still really sore, he took a really hard fall,” Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said. “It’s just something that’s going to take a little time. He’s getting treatment and he’ll get more treatment but I’m not sure, it’s kind of one of those things that he’ll be day-to-day. When he can loosen it up a little bit and feel pretty good about it, he’ll get back out there.”
Before the injury, Morris had scored 8 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench, and according to Gentry, this injury didn’t come at a good time in terms of the second-year pro’s development.
“The most disheartening thing about it is that I thought he was starting to play well and his aggressiveness is back and he was rebounding the ball really well,” he said. “He was doing a good job for us, so it’s unfortunate that he’d have a little bit of a setback, but we’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
Morris’ injury was also costly at the time as Luis Scola, who led the Suns with 24 points, had already fouled out. Gentry was forced to turn to Michael Beasley, who despite scoring all six of the Suns’ points in overtime, struggled in the game. The forward was just 4-for-15 from the floor while committing four turnovers.
“Whoever we have is whoever we have and that’s who you have to play with and I told the guys as long as we compete like crazy, we’ll be fine.”
Gentry also believes that Morris will get some time in the Suns’ cryo-chamber.
“I think so, I think it’s a deep bruise so we’ll put him in there for about two-and-a-half hours at 300 degrees below zero and see what happens,” he joked.
The Suns travel to Los Angeles to get their first look at the new-look Lakers, who feature their former two-time MVP Steve Nash and former coach, Mike D’Antoni.