Suns 117, Raps 113
The good news is that the Raps next nine games include seven against the Eastern Coference. So this is a the stretch where the Raps can either make or break their season. Yesterday, Triano made some lineup changes putting Anthony Parker as the starting point guard and puttting Joey Graham as the starting shooting guard. Apparently, these guys along with Bosh, Bargs and Moon were the only ones who could get it going in the fourth of the Raps-Pacers game.
The Raps came out swinging in this one starting off with 18-6 start over the Suns as this would be a high scoring affair. Then the Terry Porter Phoenix Suns looked more like the D'Antoni Suns Sunday afternoon as J-Rich hit a three to lead the Suns to five buckets in a row to get up on the Raps 27-26. Phoenix would continue the hot streak going on a 21-9 run to get up 36-34. The Raps would shoot a hot 64% but the defense let Phoenix shoot a sweltering 72%. The hot offense continued until halftime, the Phoenix Suns led 71-67.......at halftime, yes halftime. Steve Nash was scoreless at the half but had 11 assists.
The second half started with Chris Bosh playing Shaq one on one in the post and Bosh got just got swatted. Anthony Parker and Joey Graham continued to play well as the Raps stayed in this one, down only eight after three. In the fourth, Jamario Moon hit a three to make it a five point game and then Joey Graham nailed a jumper for a career high 20 pts. The Raps got within two, 102-100. Joey Graham nailed another jumper to make it a tie game. There was a scary moment when Bosh hit a rainbow jumper over Shaq, but when coming down, Chris Bosh landed on Shaq's big-ass shoe. It looked pretty nasty but Bosh was able to wak it off. Jamario Moon had a crazy putback slam out of nowhere to get within three, 114-111. But in the next Raps possession, Anthony Parker would throw it away, turning the ball over leading to a Nash missed wide open three. AP redeemed himself to get back within one. During the closing seconds, Nash drew Bosh in, then drove passed him for the layup to go up 116-113. In the last seconds for the Raps, it was a lot of chaos of offensive boards trying to tip it in but the shots just didnt fall. Kid Canada wins in Canada 117-113.
AP & Joey Graham were huge: AP: 26/7/5, Joey Graham: 22/7/4
Amare Stoudemire 31 pts, 6 reb
Steve Nash had 9 pts and a season high 18 assists
Raps play the Hawks on MLK Day, Monday afternoon.