Suns lose to Nets, limp into daunting road trip

Jan 14, 2012, 7:41 AM | Updated: 7:46 am

PHOENIX — Spurs, Bulls, Knicks, Celtics, Mavericks.

San Antonio, Chicago, New York, Boston, Dallas.

The Phoenix Suns’ next five games – all on the road –
could very easily make or break their season, which is
dangerously close to spiraling out of control after the
team suffered another home loss to another of the East’s
lottery teams, a 110-103 setback to the New Jersey Nets
Friday night.

“You could say that when you look back on it at the end of
the season,” Dudley said of this trip essentially being
their season. “I couldn’t really say it just because say
we go 0-5 and then somehow we go 15 out of our next 20 and
then you look back on it and ‘hey, you’re back close to

At the rate they’re going the Suns are more likely to lose
their next five than win 15 of 20 at any point this
season, but that’s not what the team wants to focus on.

Instead, even in the loss Friday, head coach Alvin Gentry
spent his post-game press conference talking about the
positives he’s seeing from his team.

“Obviously the loss doesn’t sit real well, but if guys are
going to give that kind of effort and play with that kind
of heart we can accept that,” he said. “We’ll just keep
moving on and we’ll keep continuing to work and trying to
get better.”

Getting better was pretty much the theme Friday, though as
recently as a few nights ago it seemed like the Suns were
doing just that. Winners of two straight before dropping a
close one in Los Angeles to the Lakers, the Suns were set
up pretty nicely with the Cleveland Cavaliers and New
Jersey Nets at home before hitting the road.

That wasn’t the case, though, as Kyrie Irving’s 26 points
and six assists were enough for the Cavaliers Thursday,
while the Nets’ Deron Williams torched the Suns to the
tune of 35 points and 14 assists Friday.


“You tip your hat off to Deron Williams,” Channing Frye
said. “Top three, if not the best point guard in the
league, and he just does what he has to do to help them

Still, the Suns weren’t supposed to lose this game, even
with starters Steve Nash and Grant Hill out with injuries,
and by the time they return to the US Airways Center on
January 24th could find themselves with a 4-12 record and
in a pretty deep hole.

Or, perhaps, they can steal a couple of games, and return
feeling pretty good about themselves. No matter what
happens, Gentry said they knew it wouldn’t be easy.

“One thing I do know is that we’ve got character guys in
the locker room and we’ll continue to play hard,” he said.

Playing hard is great, but what the team needs to do is
start playing well, and this road trip would be a great
time to do just that.

“This is a team that once you start winning a couple
games, confidence will grow,” Dudley said. “You don’t want
to lose too many because you don’t want to look back and
be so far out of it.”

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Suns lose to Nets, limp into daunting road trip