(SportsNetwork.com) – The Phoenix Suns have won three straight and will try to
extend that streak Saturday night when they visit Bankers Life Fieldhouse for
a date with the Indiana Pacers.
The Suns’ recent run has all come on the road. They started a six-game sojourn
with a setback versus the Los Angeles Clippers, but things improved when they
Phoenix toppled the Boston Celtics by four, then eked out a two-point victory
over the Detroit Pistons. Things got substantially easier on Friday thanks to
a 122-96 drubbing of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Isaiah Thomas posted 23 points and eight assists off the bench to lead the
Suns. Thomas was one of eight Suns to reach double figures.
One of those players was Eric Bledsoe, who backed up his controversial
comments from earlier this week with a 13-point, seven-assist performance.
Bledsoe said in a radio interview leading up to the game that the 76ers would
lose a seven-game series to his alma mater and current No. 1 team in college
Nerlens Noel, a fellow Wildcat, fouled Bledsoe hard on the game’s first
possession, drawing a technical foul, but Phoenix dominated the second quarter
to the tune of 41-17.
“I don’t know what message you’re going to send,” Suns coach Jeff Hornacek
said. “So you fouled him hard. Big deal.”
Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris, Goran Dragic, Anthony Tolliver, Gerald Green
and Archie Goodwin also cracked the 10-point plateau for the Suns, who finish
the trip Monday in Toronto.
The Pacers are in the midst of a two-game winning streak. They knocked off
their Central Division rivals, the Chicago Bulls, on the road one week ago,
then took out the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
In Lance Stephenson’s return to Indianapolis, Solomon Hill’s putback as time
expired gave Indiana an 88-86 victory over Charlotte at Bankers Life
Luis Scola had finished off a three-point play with 1:28 to go that drew the
Pacers even. Stephenson and Marvin Williams both missed jumpers which would
have given the visitors the lead once more.
Rodney Stuckey got the ball as time wound down and hit the rim, but Hill
alertly tapped it home at the buzzer.
“I knew it had a chance. I tried to put a little soft touch on it,” Hill
Roy Hibbert topped the scoring list with 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for
the Pacers, who have won four of their last five. Scola added 15, while
Stuckey and Donald Sloan totaled 11 each.
The Suns have won six of the last eight, and 15 of the previous 17 meetings
between the two teams. Phoenix is 3-1 and 7-2 in Indianapolis in recent