Suns Strokes: Poor third quarter hands Phoenix seventh straight loss

Apr 4, 2013, 4:28 AM | Updated: 4:01 pm

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’ 126-101 loss to Clippers on April 3.

The Good:

After trailing 15-0 just 4:00 into their road matchup against a superior opponent, the Suns didn’t hang their heads. Phoenix clawed its way back into the contest and little by little chipped away at the Clippers’ double-digit lead. The Suns never pulled even but were within two with just minutes remaining in the first half.

The calf injury that plagued center Jermaine O’Neal last week seems to have gone away following the team’s three-day hiatus.

The 34-year-old was very efficient off the bench, scoring 18 points and grabbing eight boards. Lindsey Hunter also got another encouraging contribution off the pine from Michael Beasley. The first-year Sun scored in double-figures (13 points) for the third straight game.

The Bad:

As bad as the first four minutes were Wednesday night, the third quarter was much, much worse.

Los Angeles went on a 24-5 run midway through the third frame and turned what was actually a highly-competitive game into a one-sided track meet.

During that stretch, the Suns committed five turnovers and went 2-of-8 from the field.

Goran Dragic and Markieff Morris were not benched for Thursday’s game, but they might as well have been. The duo combined for 15 points on 4-of-20 shooting.

The Ugly:

Wednesday’s game was a bit chippy from the start, but things finally boiled over with the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.

With 8:59 left to go, Ryan Hollins locked up Goran Dragic around the neck on an inbounds pass and wouldn’t let go of the Suns point guard. Michael Beasley then came to the defense of his teammate, but his loyalty to Dragic and subsequent pushes led to a brief skirmish near Phoenix’s bench.

No punches were thrown, but Hollins and Beasley were both ejected for their actions.

Noted:

• The Suns extended their losing streak to seven games Wednesday, which ties their season-high (November 28-December 9).

• The Clippers scored 98 points off Suns’ turnovers in four games this season.

• Los Angeles won 50 games for the first time in franchise history.

• In the loss, Wesley Johnson recorded his third 20-point game in his last four contests.

Up Next:

The Suns (23-52) will welcome the Golden State Warriors into US Airways Center on Friday at 7 p.m.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

A Summer league logo is shown on center court during a game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the...
Kellan Olson

Suns enter Summer League with another experienced, older roster

For the second straight year, the Phoenix Suns are approaching NBA Summer League unlike any other team.
1 day ago
Ish Wainright #12 and Frank Kaminsky #8 of the Phoenix Suns react during the second half of the NBA...
Arizona Sports

Suns announce Summer League roster headlined by Ish Wainright

The Phoenix Suns released their 18-man Summer League 2022 minicamp roster Sunday evening which includes wing Ish Wainright.
3 days ago
Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns cheers from the bench during the second half of Game Five of ...
Haboob Blog

Suns’ Mikal Bridges shows no chill, dunks on kid at his basketball camp

No one is safe from getting dunked on by Suns forward Mikal Bridges. Even kids attending his own basketball camp.
3 days ago
Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves during the game against the Houston Rockets at Target...
Jake Anderson

Josh Okogie agrees to 1-year deal with Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent wing Josh Okogie, the team announced Tuesday.
1 day ago
Jock Landale #34 of the San Antonio Spurs drives against Willy Hernangomez #9 of the New Orleans Pe...
Jake Anderson

Report: Phoenix Suns trading for Atlanta Hawks center Jock Landale

The Phoenix Suns are trading for Atlanta Hawks center Jock Landale, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania.
4 days ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts during Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round ...
Alex Weiner

The Athletic’s Hollinger: Suns trade for Kevin Durant likely needs 3rd team

NBA analyst John Hollinger devised five Kevin Durant trades, and the Phoenix Suns option became one of the more complex.
3 days ago
Suns Strokes: Poor third quarter hands Phoenix seventh straight loss