Suns’ Brown has career night despite loss to Spurs

Mar 28, 2012, 4:15 PM | Updated: 6:01 pm

Shannon Brown took advantage of his starting role Tuesday, and even though the Phoenix Suns lost, Brown was the silver lining with his career scoring night.

Brown was inserted into the starting lineup against the rival San Antonio Spurs when Grant Hill was held out due to a right knee strain. Brown seized the opportunity to start in place of Hill and had a career high in points, scoring 32 in his extended 42 minutes.

The best part of Brown’s night was how efficient he was. The off-guard went 11-18 overall from the field, a solid 5-10 from behind the arc and a perfect 5-5 from the charity stripe. Brown had an efficient night because he didn’t force shots and tried to play within his skill set and the offense.

“I wanted to come out and be aggressive. I didn’t know I was going to start until we was ahead doing our pregame, and he said Grant wasn’t going to go, so I had to prepare myself mentally just wanted to come out, play hard, play within the flow, you know of what’s going on, and you know, wish we could have come out with the win.”

Brown’s role on the Suns has increased as has his impact since he has come back from a string of DNPs in the middle of February, when head coach Alvin Gentry was trying to salvage the season by tinkering with his lineup.

The six-year pro has increased his scoring average nearly four points since last month, averaging 7.4 points in February and while currently averaging 11.3 points per game in March. His production has increased at the same rate as his minutes. Brown’s average minutes has increased from 18.8 to 22.4 minutes per game from February to March.

Brown and the Suns lost to the Spurs 107-100 Tuesday, dropping them to a 25-25 record putting them in the 10th slot in the tightly-contested Western Conference.

Phoenix is set to play the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center Wednesday night, where they won less than two weeks ago in a statement game without Steve Nash and Grant Hill. This bodes well for the Suns since Hill is still day-to-day with his knee strain and the team has proven it can win at Staples Center without its defensive stopper.

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