The Phoenix Suns are now officially in the back half of the 2014-15 season after playing their 42nd game on Friday.
Donning their bright orange shirseys, the Suns survived a hot 8-for-8 start by the Minnesota Timberwolves to go on to earn their 24th victory of the season 110-99. Goran Dragic led all Suns with 21 points and has scored in double figures in 22 of his last 23 games.
Although the Suns eventually cruised to victory, the game was in doubt after head coach Jeff Hornacek benched his starters early in the second quarter, allowing Minnesota to briefly take the lead. The starters came back in after a 12-2 Minnesota run and led Phoenix to a three-point halftime lead.
Phoenix began to pull away in the third quarter, outscoring the Timberwolves 27-19 and never looked back en route to an 11-point victory.
The Suns have opened their long homestand strong, winning the first two games. Phoenix currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference as they begin their second-half run.
Here’s how the Suns opened the season’s second half with a win, by the numbers:
After being acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, guard Reggie Bullock did not see the floor on a night when 11 different Suns played.
Only one Sun finished the game with a negative plus-minus (T.J. Warren, -4).
Gerald Green hit back-to-back 3s in the fourth quarter to push the game along. He leads the league in three-pointers off the bench with 91.
Friday’s game was the second game in Phoenix’s season-long eight-game homestand. In fact, the homestand is the longest in franchise history. The Suns do not play on the road again until they travel to Oakland to face the Golden State Warriors on Jan 31.
12 (Part I)
Rookie T.J. Warren saw his first game action in 12 days. He played 4:52 and finished with two points.
12 (Part II)
Alex Len continued his strong play as of late with a game-high 12 rebounds. He finished with six points and a pair of blocks as well.
After scoring a whopping 52 points on Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers, the Suns kept Minnesota’s Mo Williams to half that number on Friday.
The Suns had a strong shooting night, as 55 percent (48-of-87) of their shots fell. Five players scored in double figures, including three of Phoenix’s five starters.