Updated Dec 31, 2012 - 9:17 pm
Suns Strokes: Phoenix ends 2012 with a loss
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' 114-96 loss to the Thunder on December 31.
Coming in losers of five straight, the Phoenix Suns could have laid down against Monday's superior opponent, the Oklahoma City Thunder, but they didn't despite what the final outcome might suggest.
It doesn't count for much in the standings (11-21), but Phoenix did everything it could to make up for its lack of talent, nine-man rotation and yet another starting lineup adjustment.
In the end, it wasn't enough, as they fell by 18 to the Thunder.
Even in defeat, the Suns' collective defensive effort (P.J. Tucker and Jared Dudley) on Kevin Durant was commendable Monday night. The league's reigning scoring champ scored 30 points but did so on 24 shots.
Luis Scola picked up right where he left off in Minnesota. The first-year Sun lead the team in scoring Monday with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
Despite staying close with the Thunder for most of the night, the Suns head back to Phoenix with little more than a moral victory and a six-game losing streak to show for themselves. To make matters worse, they dropped 2-15 on the road in 2012-13.
The Suns hung in tough Monday against the reigning Western Conference champions, but it's hard to win on the road forcing just five turnovers.
Shannon Brown was relegated back to the bench against the Thunder, but the move didn't seem to provide a spark for the shooting guard. Brown finished with 0 points on 0-of-3 shooting.
• The Suns have now had six different starting lineups in 32 games.
• Phoenix has lost seven straight to Oklahoma City dating back to February 2011.
• The Thunder led 84-78 heading to the fourth quarter, which has all but guaranteed victory for Scott Brooks' team this season. Oklahoma City is 21-0 this season when leading after three quarters.
• Alvin Gentry's squad dropped to 10 games below .500 Monday, a feat which the club hadn't reached since the final day of the 2003-04 season. That season, the Suns finished 29-53.
The Suns will return home to take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. MST.
- Suns relationship with Bledsoe described as headed towards ruined
- The Pulse: Fans say Suns need to negotiate smaller contract with Eric Bledsoe
- Report: Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker arrested in Scottsdale in May for extreme DUI
- ESPN Insider: Goran Dragic is a max-contract candidate after next season
- Eric Bledsoe: 'I can understand the Suns are using restricted free agency against me'
- Chris Sheridan - Tuesday July 22Chris Sheridan weighs in on if Kevin Love will join LeBron in Cleveland.
- Ryan McDonough, Phoenix Suns general manager - Monday July 21General manager Ryan McDonough talks about the Phoenix Suns' offseason plans.
- Isaiah Thomas, Phoenix Suns point guard - Monday July 21Isaiah Thomas talks about his skill set and what he brings to the franchise.
- Marc Spears, Yahoo NBA writer - Friday July 18Yahoo NBA writer Marc Spears says the Warriors are backing out from a Kevin Love trade.
- Paul Coro, AZCentral Sports Suns beat writer - Thursday July 17AZCentral Sports Suns beat writer Paul Coro talks about the continuing free agency of Eric Bledsoe.