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Suns Strokes: Late Boston run does in Phoenix

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’ 87-79 loss to the Celtics on January 9.

The Good:

While the Suns have lost four in a row and 10 of their last 11 games, starting center Marcin Gortat has been a force in the post. The ‘Polish Hammer’ recorded his fourth double-double (12 points and 14 rebounds) of the month. He also added a game-high five blocks.

Despite trailing by 14 at halftime, the Suns came out energized in the third quarter and used a 17-0 run to take a brief 58-55 lead.

The Bad:

While Phoenix admirably fought back against a more-talented Boston team, for the second consecutive night Alvin Gentry and Co. ran out of gas in the second half.

With the game still in the balance heading into the fourth quarter, Boston went on a 15-4 spurt to begin the final frame and never looked back.

The Suns came into Wednesday night’s contest as the third-worst three-point shooting team in the league (32.9 percent) and did nothing to improve those numbers in Beantown. Phoenix went a dreadful 2-of-12 from behind the three-point arc.

In fact, Phoenix is shooting just 25.2 percent (30-for-119) from three-point range in their last eight games.


• Jermaine O’Neal returned to Boston Wednesday night after two injury-plagued seasons with the Celtics. In seven minutes of action, O’Neal scored just two points (1-of-4 shooting from the field).

• Rookie Jared Sullinger had arguably his most complete game of the season. The former No. 21 overall pick had 12 points to go along with a career-high 16 rebounds.

• After being held out of the Suns’ prior two contests due to a coaching decision, Michael Beasley was back out on the floor in Boston. Beasley scored two points and took only two shots.

• The Suns have now lost 11 straight road games and have not won away from the US Airways Center since November 27.

Up Next:

The Suns will travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets at the brand-new Barclays Center on Friday night at 5:30 p.m.


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