Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won’t tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns’ 99-79 loss to the Nets on January 11.
Shannon Brown has had a reduced role in the Suns offense of late, since losing his starting spot back on December 31. In five games since the demotion, Brown had averaged just 6.2 points per game.
Against Brookyln, Brown was active at both ends of the court in the second quarter (11 points, two steals and a thunderous fast break dunk) as Phoenix took control of the contest.
He finished with 15 points and four assists.
After awhile, the term déjà vu ceases to fit when discussing Phoenix’s recent troubles on the road. For the third consecutive game, the Suns won the first quarter and had plenty to be optimistic about going into the locker room at halftime.
But the third quarter yet again served as the team’s Achilles’ heal against Brookyln.
Marcin Gortat held Brook Lopez in check (13 points on 5-of-16 shooting), Gerald Wallace was forced out of the contest after taking a hard fall following a PJ Tucker foul in the first quarter and Deron Williams seldomly looked to score (five attempts) Friday night, but the Nets reeled off a fairly easy 13-2 run to start the third quarter and were rarely tested the rest of the night.
While the Nets’ usual suspects were largely kept off the score sheet, the same could not be said for reserves Andre Blatche and Marshon Brooks. The duo scored 17 of Brooklyn’s final 19 points in the third frame and the fourth quarter turned into nothing short of a formality.
The Suns were effective from three-point range (7-of-14), but that only goes so far when defensively Alvin Gentry’s squad continues to allow open shots from the perimeter. Phoenix couldn’t stop former Sun Joe Johnson (3-of-3 from three-point range) and Co. from connecting on 46 percent of their three-point opportunities.
• The Suns have now lost 12 straight road games dating back to November 27 and five straight overall.
• Marcin Gortat arguably had his worst game in the month of January. After recording four double-doubles in his first five games of the month, the Suns starting center had just nine points and eight rebounds.
• P.J. Carlesmo is now 7-1 since taking over the head coaching duties from Avery Johnson back on December 27.
• The Suns’ 13-point output in Friday’s third quarter was their lowest on the season.
• Sebastian Telfair’s homecoming didn’t quite go to plan in Brooklyn. The Coney Island native had more fouls (4) than shot attempts (3).
The Suns will travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls at the United Center on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.