Suns Trounce Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors Over the Weekend. Up Next: Ailing New York Knicks Tuesday
|Jason Richardson posted back-to-back 22-point performances this weekend against the Timberwolves and Raptors.|
It simply stated, "see u above the rim buddy."
While the Suns superstar may not have made good on the friendly jibe by slam-dunking over the 6-foot-10 power forward during Phoenix's battle against the Raptors on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre, Nash was plenty busy helping to lift his team to a 113-94 win. As always, he was a passing and scoring dynamo, shucking and jiving through Toronto's defensive efforts to secure 20 points and 16 assists.
Bosh was also busy during the contest, supplying some rather spectacular dunks and producing 30 points and 17 assists for the afternoon. As dynamic as his performance was, it was ultimately futile, as Toronto's lineup (with the exception of Italian forward Andrea Bargnani, who had 24 points) provided some rather substandard support to their star. Regardless, Bosh attempted to carry the team, which bounced back from a rotten first quarter to even things up several times in the second.
Meanwhile, Nash got plenty of backup from teammates, allowing the Suns to open things up in the second half: Leandro Barbosa had 17 points (despite twisting his ankle in the fourth quarter) and Amar'e Stoudemire came up with 18.
Jason Richardson also contributed 22 points, exactly like he did earlier in the weekend when Phoenix mauled the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center on Friday.
J-Rich's showing wasn't the only impressive performance that night, as Robin Lopez came back with a bang. Following six weeks of riding the pine while recovering from a broken foot, the kinky-haired center had a great game. Within 90 seconds of coming off the bench early in the first quarter, he'd landed two rebounds and as many buckets (including a rather dandy hook shot), finishing with eight points in his 15 minutes. Welcome back, RoLo.
Other underused Suns players, like rookie Earl Clark and journeyman Jarron Collins, got playing time against the T'Wolves, mostly because the game was an absolute blowout, with the Purple and Orange Gang leading by as much as 30 points as they handed Minnesota its 15th consecutive loss. Including the Toronto victory, Phoenix has the NBA's best record at 14-3.
Phoenix might also rout the loathsome New York Knicks and Coach Mike D'Antoni tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden. It's hardly a secret that the Knickerbockers won't be making the NBA playoffs come April. Heck, it even seems like they've pretty much conceded the season that's barely even a month old. Noo Yawk has gone 2-8 during their last 10 games, including five straight losses. (Hey, at least Gothamites can say their team's better than those nasty-ass New Jersey Nets, who have yet to mount a single win this season).
With a roster of under-producing players like Eddy Curry (who's likely getting booted from the Empire State ASAP), former Suns Coach D'Antoni and his staff are looking ahead to 2010 as their rebound year. He's reportedly hoping to free up plenty of cash under the salary cap to go after some marquee free agents, such as LeBron James.
Speaking of King James, the Suns will be up in his hood on Wednesday when the four-game road swing wraps up against the Cleveland Cavaliers in what should be a tougher slog than the also-rans they've been dispatching as of late. But before landing in C-Town, they've gotta stick it to the Knicks on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. TV: KUTP My45. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info: www.suns.com.