This one really wasn’t much to blog about. I mean, beating up on a badly depleted team that wasn’t all that strong even in its pre-depletion days isn’t exactly the kind of thing that calls for fireworks and dancing in the streets.
But having said that, it was a lot of fun, and there was more than enough joy to go around for all 12 players on the active roster. And more importantly, the victory gave the Suns their first four-game winning streak of the season and moved them to within three-and-a-half lengths of Dallas in the race for the final playoff spot in the West. (Yes, there is TOO a race).
It was an especially big night for Jason Richardson, who hit six threes in the process of scoring a season high 35 points (he has averaged 30 points over the last three games). And it was another nice milestone night for Shaquille O’Neal, whose 13 points pushed him past Moses Malone into fifth place in career scoring.
But like I said, there was more than enough fun to go around, and three players off the back of the bench, Jared Dudley (who is getting closer to the front), Alonzo Tucker, and Stromile Swift hit double figures. And the reserves accounted for all but five of the 38 fourth period points. In fact, they actually put on a respectable version of a poor man’s Showtime in that final 12 minutes.
The bottom line: All in all it had to be a great sight for Amare Stoudemire’s sore eyes, since he finally got medical clearance to attend his first game since he underwent eye surgery.