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Phoenix Suns

Updated Mar 22, 2013 - 10:25 pm

Suns Strokes: Phoenix eliminated from the playoffs

Minnesota Timberwolves' Jose Barea, left, of Puerto Rico, drives against Phoenix Suns' Diante Garrett during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, March 22, 2013, in Phoenix. (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' 117-86 loss to the Wizards on March 22.

The Good:

The Suns kept pace with Detroit, which lost at Miami. The Suns and Pistons are tied for the fourth-worst record in the NBA; and only a half-game back of the Cavaliers from owning the third-worst record.

The Bad:

The Suns suffered their ninth loss of 25 or more points. The Suns surrendered a 20-6 first quarter run and Minnesota never looked back, snapping a nine-game road losing streak and 13-game road losing streak against the Western Conference. Minnesota scored a season-high 117 points on 53.2 percent shooting, the 21st time the Suns have allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent or better in a game.

The Obvious:

It's official. (As if there was ever any doubt.) The Suns will not make the playoffs, eliminated with the loss to Minnesota, meaning a third straight season without a postseason appearance. The Suns last went three years in a row minus playoff basketball from 1986-1988.

He Said It:

"Disappointed in our start of the game," interim head coach Lindsey Hunter said of being outscored 31-18 in the first quarter. "I just didn't think we played with any fire in the beginning. "I don't like making excuses. This is an opportunity for some of our guys. You should try to take advantage of the opportunity to play. I think in the beginning guys did not really do that."


• The Suns suffered their ninth loss of 25 or more points.

• Suns did once hold a lead in the game, 4-2 at 10:14 mark of the 1st quarter; of course it lasted all of 20 seconds.

• Suns are 4-3 vs. teams with winning records, 1-4 vs. teams with losing records in last 13 games.

• Jared Dudley (sick), Jermaine O'Neal (calf strain, sick) did not suit up Friday night.

Up Next:

The Suns (23-47) end a four-game homestand playing the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, March 24.

About the Author

School: Syracuse University, '96

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: December 1, 1999

Favorite sports memory: Game 7, 2001 World Series

Least-favorite sports memory: Game 1, 1988 World Series

Favorite all-time athlete(s): Larry Bird, Don Mattingly

Favorite sports movies: Hoosiers, Field of Dreams


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