Dragic's 35 Not Enough Against Rockets
It looked as though Kevin Johnson's presence -- complete with ovation-inducing half-time comments about the quality of the franchise -- was going hand in hand with a come-from-behind win over the Rockets.
The Suns had rallied from 18 down and led by 10 entering the fourth quarter. Goran Dragic was on his way to setting a new career-high in points for the second time this month.
Houston had other plans, riding 14 fourth-quarter free throws, 64 points in the paint and a late three-pointer from Patrick Beverly to a 115-112 win over the Suns at US Airways Center.
"If you're grinding for every possession and you're making tough shots and on the other end they're making easy shots, you get that feeling [that it's hard to win]," Dragic said.
The Suns overcame a rough first quarter with 77 points combined over the second and third periods. Dragic had the hot hand, shooting 14-for-20 to go along with three assists and there steals. Gerald Green added 23 points and Markieff Morris logged 21 points, seven boards, two steals and a block off the bench.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Phoenix, which will look to rebound at home against the Timberwolves on Tuesday.
Phoenix looked as though they had fended off Houston's initial fourth-quarter run, but unfortunately for them, more was coming.
Dwight Howard scored inside, Chandler Parsons was awarded two free throws on a clear path foul and James Harden made it a four-point possessions with a long jumper. The spurt made it a two-point game before Houston eventually pulled ahead for the win.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"My story is a Phoenix story." -- Kevin Johnson
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Goran Dragic said he wasn't trying to send a message to Houston for letting him go in free agency two years ago. He simply wanted to rebound from his eight-point outing on Friday.
Mission accomlished and then some. The sixth-year guard posted a new career high in points with 35, making 5-of-8 from downtown and 9-of-12 inside the arc.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
STAT(S) OF THE NIGHT
64: the number of points in the paint for Houston.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The @suns fought hard and Dragic had a big night. Get em next game fellas!!— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) February 24, 2014