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It may have been the greatest game ever played.

OK, maybe that’s a bit much. But for the modern-day Phoenix Suns, it sure had to rank up there with some of the greatest wins.

I’m talking about Friday’s 123-118 double-overtime victory over Memphis. I’m talking about Jason Richardson scoring 38 points, Steve Nash scoring 25, and Channing Frye not being able to make a shot, but grabbing 11 rebounds off the bench. And I’m talking about Richardson hitting a reverse layup off an inbounds pass with 0.4 seconds left to send the game into the first OT.

If nothing else, we learned that this year’s version of the Suns are never out of it. We also know that Coach Alvin Gentry knows how to draw up a great play, and Grant Hill and Richardson know how to execute it.

We also know that the Suns will always do what it takes to win. Or at least not go down easily. Nash indicated as much last week, saying these new Suns are still trying to figure each other out, but “we gotta try to win as many games as we can” along the way.

That won’t be too difficult if the Suns can demonstrate the resolve they showed Friday night. They also displayed teamwork in its truest sense, something that’s become a staple of the Gentry era.

Consider:

  • Hill scored just two points on 1-for-9 shooting, and for most of the night, nothing went right for Suns’ rock of a veteran. Yet he ended up throwing the most fabulous pass of the young season. And that’s really saying something when Nash is on the team.
  • Nash also seemed not up to par (although we should note his “par” exceeds most). But when the Suns received new life after the miracle play between Hill and Richardson, Nash went for the kill. Of his 25 points, 13 were scored in the overtime sessions. That’s what you call making the most of a second chance.
  • Also were the underrated performances of Hedo Turkoglu (18 points), and Frye, Hakim Warrick (15) and Goran Dragic (13) off the bench. Nobody is likely to vote for any of those for the All-Star team, but the Suns and their fans sure appreciate them. And if Turkoglu and Warrick provide more one-two punches at power forward like they did Friday … well, anything is possible.
  • Finally, not to be forgotten were the unsung performances of Robin Lopez, Josh Childress, Jared Dudley and even rookie Garret Siler. What people often overlook is the fact those guys will have to admirably fill their roles if the Suns are to make another surprising run.

Of course, you don’t want every win to be like the one Friday. As Gentry said, “I will never, ever make my next birthday if we go through the season like that.”

But it’s nice to get those kind of victories when the opportunity arises — if for no other reason than to show that the Suns may not be far from coming together as a team. And as we saw last season, that alone can carry you a long way.

Sam Amico covers the NBA for NBA.com, and is a regular contributor to Suns.com. Follow him on Twitter @SamAmicoNBA.

  • JAS

    Maybe miracle is a little over the top but my throat was sore and the nerves were shot after the Memphis game. So what happens, we go through it all over again Sun. and with it take the Hawks out of the unbeaten ranks. Two dramatic games back to back, break up the Suns!!! When the little team with the big heart really gets it together we may have a surprise developing in the desert. Still work to do before that happens. Lopez must find his game, Nash needs to get the pick and roll going so the dribbling marathon ends, Warrick is your man. Frye has to play every game as tough as he did against Memphis. Suns management, either play Silas or go out and get another big man to help Robin. Still lots of talent in Phoenix and a starting five coming off the bench. My opinion, of all teams in the West only LA would be “improbable” however, not impossible to beat in a series.

  • JAS

    No dramatic comeback tonight, although Suns bench fought all the way and kept it close. Back to back games, turnovers, weak rebounding, 3′s failing to fall and throw in some bad body language. Difficult to win for any team, lethal mix for our Suns vs Memphis in game #2. I like Lopez but he’s a huge work in progress. I’m starting to fear his personality, just like Amare’s always did just might keep him from being the player we need him to be. You can fine tune it all you want but if the Suns don’t come up with a decent trade along the way it’s low seed quick exit.

  • Yıldırım

    This is one of the interesting game of this season. All of the players played very well. But I have some doubts about good things for future, because this team needs a real center. We all know Lopez and Frye are good but not efficient. Also Hedo has to be played as small forward, he can’t play at power forward position, imagine Hedo versus Milsap or Amare or Duncan…. I think This team should start with Nash, Richardson, Hedo, Warrick and Lopez. Hill should come from bench because of his age…
    Yıldırım from Turkey