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The Suns got our number
posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 at 9:53 PM

Well, that's eight-straight losses to the Suns. We'll get these guys one of these days. They're one of the oldest teams in the league, we're one of the youngest. Revenge will be sweet, whenever we manage to get it.

Jarrett Jack hits a three to almost get the remaining fans Chalupas. Almost.

Final score: Suns 111, Blazers 98. LaMarcus has a nice game, finishing with 31 points and 8 rebounds. Channing Frye pitches in 12 points and Travis Outlaw adds 13. Brandon Roy scores just 6, though he does tally 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

On the other side, Amare leads the Suns, as he did the first game this season, with 25 points and 7 rebounds. Shaq get finishes with a nice line of 16 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. Nash gets 22 points and eight assists. Six Suns scored in double figures.

So that's that. Blazers get a few days off, then have a home-and-home back-to-back against the Clippers starting on Friday. We'll be back blogging that one, so check us out again in a couple days. Good night and good riddance.


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And so begins the commute home
posted: at 9:43 PM

Shaq gets feisty again as he's fouled by Jones and Frye simultaneously. To Shaq's credit, he shakes Paul Allen's hand as he goes out of bounds. It's best to keep things friendly.

Blazers brick another shot and the crowd heads for the exits. Not that I blame them, but you don't beat the traffic when everyone leaves at the same time, regardless of how much time is left on the clock.

Suns burning clock, which makes sense considering they're on the front end of a back-to-back. No need to expend needless energy when you've got another game in less than 24 hours.

Timeout. Suns 103, Blazers 89. Happy belated St. Patrick's Day.


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A few more threes and we're right back in this one
posted: at 9:34 PM

James Jones hits a three falling away to get the margin to 15. We're about to the point where every other shot needs to be a triple if we're going to get back into this one.

Shaq sets up a tent in the lane, hangs out for a weekend, then gets called for three-seconds. I just ran out of camping imagery.

Brandon misses a jumper in the key by a good six inches. It's just not B-Roy's night, and when he's off, the Blazers have a tough time winning. That's just the way it is.

The Suns are having a bit of trouble scoring themselves, but the Red and Black aren't doing a great job of making them pay. LaMarcus, who has a game high 27 points, hits the turnaround jumper that he's now known for. Run the offense through him for the remainder of the game.

It's t-shirt toss time. The score stands at Suns 100, Blazers 87 with 5:17 to play. A 14-0 run would look real nice right now.


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It's about to go down
posted: at 9:23 PM

Jarrett Jack keeps ending up covering the much larger Boris Diaw to start the quarter. The Frenchman misses two shots over Jarrett, but he gets his own board, finds Shaq unguarded near the basket, and Channing has to drop the hammer to stop the easy dunk. Shaq makes one of two.

Outlaw misses his first shot of the quarter. Rats.

Shaq and Przybilla get tangled up and their both going to get technicals. Both guys are jawing at each other as the refs come over to diffuse the situation. O'Neal is pushing people left and right. I'd bet Diesel levels someone before this one is over.

Brandon continues to struggle tonight, missing another shot. Barbosa, who's getting real aggressive going to the hoop, gets an easy two then two free throws on the next possession. Blazers are losing touch with every possession.

Suns 94, Blazers 78 with 9 minutes to play. It's going to take something special for the Blazers to avoid their eighth straight loss to the Sunny Boys.


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Blogger darb said...

The official box score says Shaq got two T's at 10:18 in the 4th and Joel got 1... wouldn't that constitute Shaq being tossed?

9:42 PM  

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Closing out quarters is not easy
posted: at 9:17 PM

Travis Outlaw is being guarded by Gordon Giricek, so expect a steady diet of jumpers from TO while it lasts. There's no way Gordon can stay with Travis. Just stay aggressive.

Case in point: Travis fouled on the shot. Makes one of two. We're shooting 76% from the line, but it sure feels worse than that.

Steve Nash is being covered by Frye on the switch, and the two-time MVP promptly drains a three in the Buffet of Goodness's eye.

24 second to go in the quarter, Suns lead 85-76. It's getting dangerous. Nash tacks on two more with seconds to go, putting the visitors up 11 with a quarter to play. Ugh.


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Closer, closer, closer, too close
posted: at 9:10 PM

Blake gets fouled while passing the ball, but they're giving him shots for some reason. Not that I'm complaining. He hits both, and it's 77-71 Suns.

Channing Frye gets called for a delay of game for not having his jersey tucked all the way in. I thought they stopped calling that when they stopped calling carries this season.

You get the feeling that the Blazers might be able to pull this one off if they could just get a lead for once. Channing hits two free throws, which helps, but then Giricek nails a three. Then Outlaw gets called for an offensive foul. That's what I'm talking about. It's two steps forward, one step back tonight for the Red and Black.

2:53 to play in the quarter with the score Suns 80, Blazers 73. Somebody get a stop.


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And another And1
posted: at 9:04 PM

Roy drives, draws contact from Raja Bell, finishes the with the layin and gets the foul. He misses the free throw. That would have made it a one-point game.

Shaq gets position, uses the off-arm to hold off Przybilla, and finishes with the baby hook. Diesel can still make a difference on the offensive end when he's motivated.

Blazers miss, Shaq finds a streaking Grant Hill for the uncontested dunk. That's a lot of basketball years in that connection.

LaMarcus draws the And1, but he too misses the free throw. Lets not do this again.

Shaq finds a cutting Grant Hill, yet again, for the layin. Somebody take a charge already.

Blake for three ... money. Steve Nash with a two ... change.

With 5:07 to play in the third, score is Suns 74, Blazers 69. Red and Black need to make that extra push to get this one even.


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Get out of the way ref!
posted: at 8:55 PM

Blazers have the ball to start the qaurter. Roy tries to pass it to Przybilla, but he's got his back turned, and Phoenix comes up with the ball.

The PHX outlet pass looks like it's going out of bounds, but the ball bounces off the ref, right to Grant Hill, who finds a wide open Raja Bell for the two.

Blake hits Aldridge for their second alley-oop of the night. Then Aldridge gets a putback on the miss, then a long jumper. That's 8 in the first few minutes of the quarter for Aldridge, who has 19 all together.

Amare stuffs a alley-oop from Nash somewhere in there. It happened so fast that I almost missed it.

Shaq shooting free throws, hits the first, misses the second, but Martell is called for a lane violation. Shaq uses the opportunity to miss another, but the Suns get the rebound.

Phoenix miss again, and Martell gets the rebound. He passes it off, gets it back, and is promptly stripped by Amare, who gets a wide-open dunk. Nate doesn't like what he sees, and he calls a timeout. Suns 66, Blazers 60 with 8:30 to play in the quarter.


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Thanks for missing threes
posted: at 8:38 PM

Barbosa gets another pristine look at the three, but he's off. Blazers getting real lucky on those.

Blake gets the rebound with 7 seconds, finds Channing Frye, who takes the lllooonnnggg jumper with a foot on the three-point line, and it's good! Channing with 8 and 2 boards. Time runs out, and we go to the break with the score Suns 57, Blazers 49. Blazers keeping it relatively close.

Second half coming up in a bit.


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That's three on Amare
posted: at 8:33 PM

LaMarcus Aldridge takes it at Stoudemire once again, and this time he gets the bucket and the foul. Amare is halfway to fouling out of this one.

Nice ball movement by the Suns ends up netting Raja Bell a wide-open three.

In keeping with the foul theme, LaMarcus picks up his second on offensive foul. Diaw is the beneficiary of a nice pass for an easy two. Then on the other end, he fouls LaMarcus. Nothing comes of it though, as L.A. ends up having to rush a shot at the shot clock buzzer.

Another open three for Barbosa, and he hits it. Strange looking shot, but h's pretty money nonetheless.

Blazers need to get something going here at the end of the half. Barbosa called for a loose ball foul on Channing, and he'll get free throws. Good and good.

Suns 57, Blazers 47 with 30 seconds in the half.


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Nash has fans all over
posted: at 8:26 PM

Steve Nash hits the three-pointer, and the hipster Suns fans sitting in front of the press table rejoice. Quite a few Phoenix fans in the house tonight actually. All are welcome in the Rose Garden.

Suns are starting to get their "due" when it comes to fouls. Raef LaFrentz gets called for a suspect foul, then LaMarcus picks up his second while trying to block an Amare shot.

Suns turn the ball over, Jarrett comes up with it and finds a streaking Roy with a beautiful pass. Brandon looks like he's got an easy layin, but he passes it to Outlaw, who looks like he too was expecting Roy to stuff it. Bottom line: Blazers end up getting nothing out of the exchange.

James Jones, after getting blocked and bumped by Stoudemire on the offensive end, returns the favor on defense. But in this instance, James gets called for a foul. Such is life in the NBA.

With 2:44 to play in the half, Suns lead 47-42.


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The Outlaw is on the loose
posted: at 8:18 PM

Travis, who swears Mississippi State is going to beat Oregon on Friday, is firing on all cylinders tonight. He makes a long two and draws a foul (misses the free throw though). On the next trip he swishes a turnaround jumper. He's got 8 tonight.

Jarrett Jack gets hammered by Shaq on his way to the hoop, but the whistles stay silent. Shaq gets the board, but his big clodhopper is out of bounds when he does so.

On the ensuing possession, Brandon Roy knifes his way between two defenders for the deuce. So pretty.

On the other end, Shaq pushes Przybilla in the chest while trying to clear out space in the lane. Diesel may have gotten away with that move a few years ago, but when the skills diminish, so too do the number of times you can assault defenders without getting called for a foul. Shaq's been grouchy all night. Get some sleep grumpypants, and stop being such a jerk to The Thrilla.

With 5:35 to play in the half, the score is Suns 43, Blazers 42.


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Turnover, turnover, miss, turnover
posted: at 8:12 PM

The Suns start the quarter with a turnover, and the Blazers follow up with an offensive foul. Bah!

James Jones misses a wide-open three, which is an uncommon occurrence this year. Shaq gets the rebound, but then fires a pass right into Jarrett Jack's gut at halfcourt. Sergio finds Jones again, and this time he finds the bottom of the net. That's Mr. Jones.

First timeout of the second quarter is tricycle race time. Suns 34, Blazers 32 with 8:42 to play in the first half.


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Fouling jumper shooters is good for business
posted: at 8:03 PM

Barbosa hits nothing but net on the three after clanking his first few long-range attempts. Suns 35, Blazers 16.

Outlaw tries to counter with a baseline three of his own, but it's off. Channing Frye out-hustles two Suns for the rebound, goes back up with it and draws the foul on Brian Skinner. Channing makes both. Sergio and James Jones both check in.

Grant Hill with the three, count it. On the other end, Jarrett Jack takes it at Hill and gets a trip to the line for his trouble. Makes the first, misses the second.

Giricek misses a running jumper, which you would expect from a guy who's more of a spot-up shooter. Channing Frye makes him pay with a long two. Channing's looking good so far tonight.

Brian Skinner clanks a shot from inside the key, and James Jones gets the rebound with 3 seconds left in the quarter. James sizes up the halfcourt shot, and as he's taking it, Giricek commits a less-than-heady foul while JHoops is in the act of shooting with 0.03 seconds on the clock. That's three free throws. All are good.

Time runs out in the quarter with the score Suns 28, Blazers 27. Nice way to end the quarter for the Red and Black.


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Lets shoot some free throws
posted: at 7:57 PM

LaMarcus misses a turnaround jumper over Amare, and Martell misses the putback dunk. Sometimes it's better to come down with the rebound rather than going for the highlight. Then again, I guess you take it on a case by case basis.

Martell hits another jumper. He's got five tonight. A good night from Telly would go a long ways toward the Blazers getting a win.

Amare picks up his second foul, which puts the Suns in the penalty with 2:30 to play in the quarter. Time to get aggressive going to the hoop. I'm guessing that's what Nate is telling the team in the huddle right now.

Suns doing some wholesale substituting, with Barbosa, Giricek and Brian Skinner making early appearances. Blazers lineup consists of Blake, Jack, Outlaw, Martell and Frye. That's small.

Suns 20, Blazers 15, but free-throws are coming.


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You say 'alley,' I say 'oop'
posted: at 7:51 PM

Amare knees Przybilla in the guy on his way to the hoop, but Joel was in the circle, so it's an And1 for Stoudemire. He's got seven of PHX's points.

We'll be taking those two back though, as Blake lofts an alley-oop to LaMarcus for the almost-windmill dunk. That wasn't just nasty, it was buck nasty.

Shaq, as he's want to do sometimes, goes through Przybilla rather than around him, and he's hit with the looseball foul. That's the first foul on Big Aristotle. Each team has four fouls. Get ready to enjoy some free-throw shooting.

Timeout called with the score Phoenix 14, Blazers 12 with 5 minutes to play in the first quarter.


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Fouls aplenty
posted: at 7:46 PM

Steve Nash picks up a touch foul, then LaMarcus gets called for a moving screen. Let 'em play stripes.

Joel gets called for a goaltending. That's what happens when you put your hand through the basket. That works when you're playing bump, not so much in the NBA though.

Blazers having a tough time getting the ball through the hoop, until LaMarcus gets a putback jam. Nothing but ugly so far in this one.

With 6:30 to play in the first, Suns 11, Blazers 6.


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Joel wants that out of here
posted: at 7:42 PM

Amare Stoudemire tries to start the game with a floater in the lane, but Joel Przybilla swats the shot away with ease. The Thrilla hit the deck pretty hard after the block, but he seems to be ok.

Roy and LaMarcus each get easy buckets to start the game. Phoenix gets one back, and then Amare hits a long jumper to even the game. He also picks up a cheap foul on the other end. Getting him in foul trouble would be HUGE for the Blazers' chances.


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Pre-game: Suns vs. Blazers
posted: at 7:27 PM

Didn't we just do this two weeks ago? Lets hope it turns out better this time.

It's noisemaker night here at the Rose Garden, so if you're watching at home or listening on the radio, the "click-click-click" sound you're hearing isn't due to an infestation of locusts.

Both teams are on the court warming up, so lets get the starting lines along with the referees.

Phoenix Suns

33 Grant Hill
1 Amare Stoudemire
32 Shaquille O'Neal
19 Raja Bell
13 Steve Nash

Portland Trail Blazers

8 Martell Webster
12 LaMarcus Aldridge
10 Joel Przybilla
7 Brandon Roy
2 Steve Blake

Tonight's officials

45 Joe Forte
11 Phil Robinson
31 Scott Wall


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