end of the first quarter, Suns up 27 20. Earl Clarke has showed much yet. Channing Fry is 4-6 from the 3pt line for 12pts. The stars look good so far, and dragic looked pretty good out there too. Anyone else watching?
Wish I could help you... so far when the starters are out we are destroying the warriors, when the 2nd unit is in, not so much... but it's always been that way. Grant Hill is looking real good out there right now.
That was a change in the weather conditions at the Suns' second outdoor venture at Indian Wells Tennis Garden and the change in the Suns' early play from their first preseason game.
Phoenix, bent on showing reports of its demise have been greatly exaggerated, got to show a national TNT audience Saturday night that it still can turn heads. The game had its usual preseason dropoff in quality that was exasperated by the outdoor conditions, albeit not as cold and breezy as a year ago. But when starters tipped off the 104-101 Suns loss to Golden State, Phoenix ran off to a 27-14 lead with five steals, 12 fast-break points and two 3-pointers from center Channing Frye.
The Suns, who scored 72 here last year, showed their firepower with an 11-for-21 shooting start (not so much with the ensuing 29 for 78) and defensive intent, with Jason Richardson and Amaré Stoudemire going to their backs early to take charges.
Frye changed some Warriors' shots with his length on the interior but mostly is changing the look of things on the offensive end. His range is giving the Suns their best spacing since they played with Stoudemire and Tim Thomas up front. Frye led the Suns with 19 points and eight rebounds but also picked up five fouls.
"We had a way better rhythm this game," Frye said. "We were being very unselfish. I still think we can get out and run a lot more. We run a lot in practice so we might as well get out and run in games."
Grant Hill, one of the fun-and-gun holdovers from two years ago, had four fast-break layups all coming when he released for a teammate's quick rebound outlet. Suns coach Alvin Gentry gave Stoudemire the most time among the starters as he remains in a transition phase, still battling to find his explosiveness while getting 13 points and five rebounds.
The Suns reserves, who struggled to score in the first half, finished a tight game against Golden State regulars with Alando Tucker, Dan Dickau and rookie Taylor Griffin getting their first time down the stretch. Rookie Earl Clark led the Suns in attempts but missed often on the perimeter, going 4 for 16 and fouling five times. He missed a last-minute 3-pointer to tie.
"I was pleased with the way the first unit played," coach Gentry said. "We've just got to get our second unit executing better. They were fine defensively."
Warriors forward Stephen Jackson served the first of a two-game team suspension Saturday. Jackson, fined for requesting a trade last month, picked up five fouls and a technical foul in the first quarter of a Friday game against the Lakers and went to the locker room without returning.
• Suns co-owner Dick Heckmann, a local resident, said he anticipates a third annual NBA outdoor game next year involving the Suns with more of a community hook. A high school game held at the tennis arena last week drew 3,000 fans to raise money for the schools.
"Even in this crappy (economic) year, it has been very successful," Heckmann said in a Palm Springs area that admittedly has been Lakers territory. "We got how much of a community event this can be. In five years, this whole community will be Suns crazy. You root for the team you know."
The game drew 14,979 fans after a sellout of 16,236 last year.
• Heckmann hosted a party Friday night that included Suns players and staffers with a 9-foot-by-12-foot television in his lawn to watch the Mercury win the WNBA title.
"All 300 people were glued to the Mercury," he said.
• Asked about the Suns' pre-draft trade talks with Golden State, Warriors coach Don Nelson said, "I can't talk about trades."
Goran Dragic is going to be important off the bench this year. What does he need to contribute with off the bench?
hold/maintain the lead when Nash goes out for his breather... He has to understand the flow of the game and get his players to the right spot make the right reads and have some confidence that he will make the right play.. I'm hot and cold with this dude.. he's young so he could develop but sometimes I think we should scrap him and veteran backup..