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Suns Strokes: J.R. Smith spoils Jared Dudley's career night

Phoenix Suns' Marcin Gortat (4), of Poland, walks with Sebastian Telfair (31) to the bench after Telfair turned the ball over during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, in Phoenix. The turnover gave the Knicks the game-winning shot on the next possession for a 99-97 victory. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Sure, you could read the box score and know who won, but we all know that won't tell you everything that happened in a basketball game. So, we will give you Suns Strokes, providing you with the analysis, quotes and notes from the Suns' 99-97 loss to the Knicks on December 26.

The Good:

Jared Dudley scored a career-high 36 points, the most scored by a Suns player this season and the most by a Sun overall since November 28, 2010 (39, Jason Richardson at Denver). Dudley shot 11-of-17, including 5-of-8 from three while hitting all nine of his free throws to give him his fifth-straight home game of 19 or more points, the longest such streak of his career. It was also the longest streak of its kind by a Suns' players since Amare Stoudemire (January 28-March 19, 2010).

The Bad:

Knicks' guard J.R. Smith hit a 21-foot jumpshot as the buzzer sounded to hand the Suns their third straight defeat. The play came moments after the Suns' 14th and final turnover of the night. In the final five minutes, the Suns turned it over four times, including on back-to-back possessions leading to five straight points for the Knicks, who went from down two (90-88) to up three (90-93) with 4:10 remaining.

He Said It:

"We just can't seem to get that right and that's where all of our troubles started," head coach Alvin Gentry said of the second quarter when the Suns scored a season-low 15 points. "We had no rhythm whatsoever in that quarter. We didn't move the basketball and we got ourselves in trouble."

Noted:

The Suns are 4-5 in an NBA-leading nine games decided by three points or fewer.

Goran Dragic bruised his hip, wrist and back late in the second quarter and did not return.

The Knicks played without Carmelo Anthony (hyperextended knee) and Raymond Felton (sprained right fifth finger).

Up Next:

The Suns (11-18) close out 2012 with a three-game road trip that begins at the Indiana Pacers on Friday, December 28.

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