The Suns got on the winning track again Sunday with a 104-96 victory over the Orlando Magic, and move to 7 on the year.
This matchup was between very similar teams. They both have brought in young general managers to rebuild their franchises following superstar vacancies. The new eras are surprising the league. Despite Channing Frye’s cousin Tobias Harris returning from injury for the Magic, the Suns were just the better team on this night.
Behind 13 points from Gerald Green, who bounced back from a poor shooting night against the Bobcats, Phoenix held a 31-21 lead by the end of the first period. By halftime, the Phoenix lead was cut to nine points, and headed into the fourth quarter a point was shaved off for an 80-72 score. The deficit was only three with 3:15 left in the game, but then the Suns veterans brought it home.
Frye and Dragic were there when it mattered. The Dragon assisted a Frye jumper, then Frye takes it inside for a bucket, followed by a Dragic layup. The Slovenian put the Magic away with consecutive shots, one which was for three.
Dragic had a spectacular game, scoring 23 points and finishing with a fantastic +15 plus/minus. What is even better is he tallied 13 assists while not committing a single turnover. That’s phenomenal.
Gerald Green tied Dragic in plus/minus on the night with +15. He also scored 20 points, grabbed eight boards and stole the ball twice. Of course, he also threw in at least one amazing slam dunk.
Markieff and Marcus Morris were efficient as they both shot over 50 percent. Didn’t know they could both play well in the same game…I guess it can happen… good to see. Previously, they seemed to be taking turns having big games. The Morrii combined for 28 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and a couple blocks.
One of the two assists from Marcus resulted in a great alley-oop to Markieff. Marcus pulled up for a guarded mid-range jumper, but in the air, he saw his twin headed up toward the rim from the side and threw a dagger to Markieff for the slam.
Channing Frye added 14 points, seven boards, a steal and two blocks in the victory. This is now his second good game in a row. Frye scored 20 points on Friday.
For Orlando, their young team is pretty balanced offensively. They had four players score between 15 and 20 points, led by center Nikola Vucevic’s 20 points, 10 rebounds and a block. Andrew Nicholson added 19 points and eight rebounds in the loss.
This Orlando team is pretty good. Their young, skilled roster has a decent chance to make the playoffs in the abysmal Eastern Conference, especially with the horrible way the Knicks, Nets, Wizards have played. Plus Derrick Rose’s injury could keep Chicago out, opening the door for the Magic.
Phoenix is 2-0 so far on the road-trip, although you don’t expect that to continue as the Suns head to Miami, for a matchup tomorrow with the two-time defending champion Heat. But that’s why they play the games.