25 turnovers. Wow. You can’t win a game like that with that many turnovers. The turnovers committed fueled a loss for the Indiana Pacers and a donated victory for the Phoenix Suns. Indy had the game well within their grasp, but couldn’t hold on. It was as if the Pacers were the Coyote who was winning, but would just somehow lose in the desert to the Roadrunner, which were the Suns.
The Suns needed this game. At 9-9, Phoenix was on a roll and they had to get above .500. Meanwhile, Indiana was already above .500, having a 9-8 record entering the match-up in their final four-game road-trip with the Western Conference teams. Indy has succeeded thus far, but getting past the Suns was a task Indy had to complete before heading back home to take on the Milwaukee Bucks at Conseco Fieldhouse. They couldn’t succeed, and the Suns advanced to go up to .500 as Indy fell to exactly .500 once again, now at 9-9.
“I told my wife, we’ve just got to win this game and get above .500,” Channing Frye said.
The game opened up a 20-16 lead for the Suns. After that, Indiana went on a roll. They followed by great defense, good shooting, and some key three-pointers. T.J. Ford helped big on that drive. He made a key assist. He was about to make an easy lay-up, maybe even with a foul, but made a tricky pass to a wide-open James Posey at the three-point line for a go-ahead bucket. Ford would lead the way on the next possessions. As the first quarter ended, Indy had 28-20 lead and ended with a solid 12-0 run.
But the Suns would come back in the second quarter. With a 33-24 lead in hand, Goran Dragic made a key three-pointer to put the Suns down by six. Indiana couldn’t respond, and before they knew it, their lead would be cut down to 35-32. But as the first half ended, Indy gain backed their stride and was now at a 59-52 lead. Things would go downhill from there. Channing Frye would help guide the Suns back into this one. Phoenix was down 74-71 later in the game, but Frye was then wide-open for a go-ahead three. He hit and the Suns were now tied. Indy would follow-up with their buckets. Later after that, the Pacers held on to a 78-76 lead. But Frye answered back with a similar three just a few possessions earlier, now putting the Suns up 79-78. The big fourth quarter would lead to the Suns victory, 105-97, with a 31-21 outburst in that quarter.
Channing Frye was of eleven-of-16 with 29 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots.
“Channing did a great job shooting the ball and he did a great job on defense,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “He shot without any hesitation. We’ve told him he’s got to shoot the ball when he’s open.”
“Channing hit 3s and opened things up for us,” Jason Richardson, who added 21 points for the Suns, said.
The Suns limited the Pacers to 37 points in the second-half, which led to the comeback victory.
“The defense won the game for us,” Richardson said.
It was surprising to see the Suns play like this, considering they are one of the worst defensive teams in the league and the worst rebounding teams. Indy had 25 turnovers, like mentioned earlier, which led to 26 points for Phoenix. Fast break points also helped as the Suns are a fast team. Michael Schwartz mentioned earlier Phoenix could burn you on the fast-break, and they did just that, outscoring Indy 18-9 in that category.
Danny Granger struggled, as he only had eight points in the game. He was two-of-13 shooting. He was just coming off a 37-point game two games back in a victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Indiana coach Jim O’Brien said, “25 turnovers … You can’t win a game with that many turnovers.”
“We were way too careless with the ball,” the Pacers’ Mike Dunleavy said. “We were doing stuff out there that I’ve never seen before.
“Between us putting them on the line for free throws and us turning the ball over, I don’t understand how we lost by eight points and it wasn’t 30.”
The Pacers had 20 fouls, which led to an extra 24 points out of a possible 33 from the free-throw line. Indy was only twelve-of-16 from charity stripe. Another big thing that led to Indy’s loss was Roy Hibbert. He was limited in the game, as he committed three fouls in the first seven minutes of the game! He would sit out the whole first half after that. Just think if he was in there, Indy probably would have had a much larger lead. This is what led to Josh McRoberts leading the team with nine rebounds, along with 16 points, too. Brandon Rush had 21 points and Dunleavy had 16.
Jared Dudley meanwhile had twelve points for the Suns while Steve Nash had twelve points and eleven assists.
The Pacers will face the Bucks next. At 9-9, there really isn’t all that much to worry about. I mean, look, check out all the power rankings. Indy is in the top-eleven! Indy has been playing fairly well. They got robbed from the Bucks in their last game against them. They should be able to get a win this time around. Meanwhile, the Suns will host the Washington Wizards next.
Indy needs to know one thing from this.
Protect the ball and don’t commit fouls, that is all.