Reserve guards Gerald Green and Isaiah Thomas combined for 49
points and the Phoenix Suns rallied from a 19-point deficit in the
second quarter to beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 Wednesday night.
After cooling off after hot starts in losses to the Memphis
Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings, the Suns trailed Golden State by as
many as 13 points before rallying to win and followed a similar
script -- with their two explosive reserves leading the charge.
"It doesn't matter how you win or lose, it's whether you win or
lose," said Green, who scored his 28 points in 26 minutes. "We're
going to get better it's just the beginning of the season. We
finally decided to play the way we are capable of playing (in the
second half) and the way we should play to give ourselves a chance
to win. We just had to pick up the energy and intensity and I'm
encouraged with the way we played in the second half."
Guard Goran Dragic added 18 points and six assists for the Suns, who
led 2-0 but didn't see the lead again until late in the third
quarter. The Nets shot 71 percent in the first half and had control
of the game, but they went ice cold after intermission and missed 29
of 40 shots from the field (27.5 percent).
"We lost our aggressiveness," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "They
started pressuring more and taking the ball out of the point guard's
hands and we just made too many turnovers and not trying to run the
Green had 18 of his 28 in the second quarter and Thomas had 17 of
his 21 in the second half as the Suns snapped a five-game losing
streak to the Nets -- the longest winning streak the Nets had ever
had over Phoenix. In the fourth quarter of the last two games,
Phoenix has outscored opponents 70-36 in the fourth quarter, with
Green and Thomas accounting for 53 combined points.
"We can't keep putting ourselves in this position because we are not
going to be able to come back every time," Thomas said. "We're not
going to always be at home where the fans give us energy. We have to
start out better and not get down so big."
Green had five rebounds, three assists and a steal, but his shooting
in the second quarter kept the Suns from getting blown out early.
"Gerald can get shots off," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Some
of them aren't the greatest shots, but he can get rolling and he
puts a lot of pressure on a defense. Teams have to scramble and make
sure he doesn't get an open look. He's a dangerous player when he's
making the right decisions."
Guard Joe Johnson had 21 points to lead the Nets and center Brook
Lopez added 16, but none after intermission. Forward Mirza Teletovic
added 16 points and four of Brooklyn's nine 3-pointers.
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"It happened. Obviously none of us wanted it to," Lopez said. "We
were out there fighting, but once they got it rolling, they just
kept chipping away and we didn't play our game enough in the second
Despite their shooting woes, the Nets still led 90-83 on a jumper by
forward Kevin Garnett with 8:12 to go. But the Suns answered with an
18-4 run and took the lead for good at 95-94 on the first two of six
straight points by Thomas, a 4-foot floater with 4:48 left.
The Nets made 12 of 17 shots in both the first and second quarters
and that 70 percent clip kept them safely in front. Brooklyn scored
11 points off six Phoenix turnovers in the first 10 minutes and two
3-pointers -- one by guard Bojan Bogdanovic and one by Teletovic --
keyed a 10-0 run to give the Nets a 16-point lead at 29-13 with 2:18
Brooklyn pushed the lead to 19 at 38-19 on two Jarrett Jack free
throws with 10:19 left in the half and led 63-49 lead at
intermission before the cold spell set in.
"In the second half it was like we got into a rut," Johnson said.
"We couldn't get stops and we couldn't score. To blow such a big
lead, that's just hard to swallow."
NOTES: The Suns forced 27 Golden State turnovers in their 107-95 win
over the Warriors on Sunday. That was the most turnovers Phoenix
forced since Dec. 16, 2003, when the Seattle Supersonics had 27. ...
The game featured three sets of brothers: The Dragics (Goran and
Zoran of the Suns), the Morrises (Markieff and Marcus of the Suns)
and the Plumlees (Miles of the Suns and Mason of the Nets). Nets
coach Lionel Hollins was an assistant to Paul Westphal when the Suns
reached the NBA Finals in 1992-93, losing to Michael Jordan and the
Chicago Bulls in six games. Now Westphal is an assistant to Hollins
with the Nets. "I asked if he was interested in coaching and he
said, 'Sure if the right opportunity came around.' I said, 'What
about assistant coach?' He said, 'Well, if it was with you.' And lo
and behold, down the road things opened up."
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