Whoever said having two first-rate points guards is a bad thing?
With leading scorer Eric Bledsoe missing his fourth straight game, six-year veteran Goran Dragic filled up the stat sheet Sunday as the Suns took on the Magic in Orlando.
Dragic led the way with 23 points and 13 assists, and the Suns held firm for a convincing 104-96 victory.
The Slovenian guard wasn’t the only bright spot for Phoenix in the win.
Gerald Green started again in place of Bledsoe and contributed 20 points (including four 3-pointers) and eight rebounds. Channing Frye had his second-straight productive game, posting 14 points and seven rebounds, and the Morris twins — Marcus and Markieff — came off the bench to add a combined 28 points and 13 rebounds.
The Suns (7-6) shot a stellar 48.4 percent on the night, and did not allow the Magic to take the lead in the second half.
The Magic were led by center Nikola Vucevic’s 20 points and 10 rebounds, as well as power forward Andrew Nicholson’s 19 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Phoenix went back above .500 with the win, and the Magic dropped to 4-9 on the campaign.
The Suns held Orlando to 6-of-21 shooting (28.6 percent) on 3-pointers. Phoenix shot only slightly better from downtown (37.9 percent), but the team’s 11 threes helped make the difference.
Suns players rejected nine shots Sunday. Most surprising was 6-foot point guard Ish Smith’s two blocks.
Phoenix turned the ball over only nine times — much better than its 21 giveaways Friday in Charlotte.
The Suns’ defense held rookie sensation Victor Oladipo to only six points on 3-of-12 shooting in his 40 minutes on the floor.
The Suns only got to the free throw line a measly three times. Evidenced by their bombs from downtown (29 three-point attempts), the Suns weren’t looking to drive the lane much and draw fouls.
Rookie Archie Goodwin’s production has been up and down lately. After a breakout game in Sacramento, he missed all eight shots the following night at home against the Kings. After contributing eight points and six rebounds Friday in Charlotte, the Kentucky product only took one shot and went scoreless in Orlando Sunday.
Center Miles Plumlee continued to put up modest numbers, posting eight points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. He also shot just 4-for-10 from the field, though he did add two blocks and two steals.
Despite scoring 14, Frye shot only 6-for-15 from the field, including 2-for-9 from behind the arc.
– Green is averaging 17.1 points and three 3’s a game as a starter this season.
– The Suns are now 2-2 in Bledsoe’s absence. He and Dragic have only seen the court together six times all year.
– The Suns put some space between themselves and the Los Angeles Lakers for second place in the Pacific Division. Los Angeles enters Sunday night’s home game against the Kings at 6-7.
– P.J. Tucker hit his only 3-pointer of the game, and is now shooting 54.5 percent from downtown this year.
Phoenix finishes its three-game road trip by heading to South Beach to face the two-time defending champion Miami Heat Monday night. The Suns will look to stay above .500. Miami is 10-3 and first in the Southeast Division. It will be the Suns’ first time playing against Michael Beasley, who burned bridges with the team and fans and was waived in September. The Heat and Suns tip off at 5:30 p.m. MST. Catch the game on Fox Sports Arizona and Arizona Sports 620 AM.