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Suns Strokes: Dragic, Suns come up short vs. Nets

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’ 102-100 loss to the Nets on March 24.

The Good:

Goran Dragic scored a season-high 31 points, one shy of a career high (32, Jan. 25 at Utah), recorded a game-high 12 assists and added a season-high nine rebounds to finish one board shy of his second career triple-double (April 11, 2011: 11 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists). He becomes the only NBA player this season to record at least 31 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds in a game. He also notched his fifth consecutive double-digit assist game, the longest of his career. It was his NBA-leading 11th double-digit assist effort since the All-Star break.

Wes Johnson scored 20 of his season-high 21 points in the second half, including 17 in the third quarter, after making five three-pointers — four straight during one stretch, in the period.

The Bad:

The Suns missed five of their last six attempts in the final 90 seconds, including Hamed Haddadi’s put back of Dragic’s intentionally missed free throw that would’ve forced overtime.

Of course the Suns, who have now dropped three straight and seven of their last eight games, would’ve been in better position to win in regulation if it weren’t for the second quarter. They were outscored 30-18 shooting 33.3 percent (8-of-24) compared to Brooklyn’s 61.9 percent (13-of-21) performance.

He Said It:

“We are of course disappointed because we lost,” interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said. “But if we can have that type of effort every single night we will take it. We will take it and we will walk off the court with our heads high because we fought and that is the message. That is what we have to do every single night, every single practice, we have to fight.”


• Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo before the game called the Suns “very dangerous.”

• Hall of Famer Dr. J, Julius Erving was in attendance, watching the action from a courtside seat.

• Jermaine O’Neal missed his second straight game because of a left calf strain; he said afterwards he hopes to practice Tuesday and play Wednesday at Utah.

Up Next:

The Suns (23-48) after four straight home games make a quick trip to Utah to play at the Jazz on Wednesday, March 27.