Down 28 late in the third quarter, the Suns showed signs of life throughout the fourth quarter, cutting the Celtics lead to as low as eight, but Phoenix ran out of gas in the late stages and lost to Boston 115-103.
The five guys off the bench played a few minutes of the third and the entire fourth quarter with the starters looking on. To say they were outstanding would be an understatement. At one stretch, they outscored Boston 16-0 to get back in the game.
Four guys off the pine once again posted double digits in points. Aaron Brooks had his best game in a Suns uniform thus far. He had 17 points and seven assists while making his first six shots. Marcin Gortat had yet another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Jared Dudley went for 15 points and five boards and Mickael Pietrus chipped in with 11 points. Hakim Warrick was the lone guy that didn’t get in double digits.
Not a single one of the starters played well for Phoenix and they were the reason why the bench had to comeback from such a large hole in the final 12 minutes. Vince Carter had 11 points, but had no production in the rebounding and assist departments. To add insult to injury, Carter left the game after banging heads with Channing Frye during the third quarter.
Boston got solid efforts out of all of their starters. Kevin Garnett was the leading scorer for both teams with 28 points and 11 boards. KG got an unnecessary technical foul late in the game when the outcome was well decided. You don’t expect anything different out of him at this point in his career. He is a certain hall of famer, but he isn’t exactly a model citizen when he is out on the court.
Paul Pierce had a double-double as well with 16 points and 13 rebounds, Ray Allen had 19 and Rajon Rondo added 16 points and 15 dishes. Like Garnett, Rondo added some controversy to the game when he took a three-pointer with only a few ticks left in the game. Dudley fouled him on the attempt for good measure. Sure the Celtics are a great team and should be the favorites to win another title this season, but they don’t exactly win with class.
The Suns next game on this trip will be on Friday in cold Milwaukee to face the Bucks.