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AP: 86edad53-6ea5-4899-b1e2-7e7c6874baa9
Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye (8) goes up for a dunk against the Houston Rockets during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, in Houston. The Suns won 97-88. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
The Phoenix Suns' surprising season doesn't seem to be slowing down, if Wednesday night's 97-88 win over the Houston Rockets can serve as any kind of evidence.

At 10-9, the Suns are just outside of playoff contention and surprising most. They're 8-7 against the deep Western Conference, 5-6 on the road and, according to Lon Babby, president of basketball operations, they're good enough to beat anyone.

"If we run on offense and play with intensity on defense," Babby explained to The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta, "we can play with anybody.

"I think our guys recognize that."

The Suns have handed the West's best team, the Portland Trail Blazers, two of their three losses, while also coming within a few points of beating both the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. The team also came within a point of beating the Trail Blazers a third time, losing 90-89 on a last-second Damian Lillard layup.

Yet, as Babby explains, maintaining such energy -- pacing themselves over the course of an 82-game season -- is a challenge.

"The hard thing is that it's not easy to do that every night," he said.

Exhibit A of such a statement came on back-to-back late November nights, when the team lost a road-home slate of games to the lowly Sacramento Kings, who have only managed four wins all season -- tied for the fewest in the West.

While quick to point out how well the Suns can play with the right approach, Babby knows his team is more than just capable on such a style -- they're dependent on it.

"We don't have the talent to cruise," he said. "That's for sure."

Just three of the team's 10 wins thus far have come via double digits, leaving no evidence of the team's ability to ‘cruise', as it were.

But that's fine. No one expected them to.

Jules Tompkins,

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