The Phoenix Suns jumped out to a big lead in the first half and held off two late charges by the Indiana Pacers in a win, 102-94. Goran Dragic was absolutely brilliant despite Indiana's Lance Stephenson logging a triple double.
Perhaps angry about his All-Star snub, Dragic led the Suns to a lead, 66-49, at halftime over the Pacers. Dragic racked up 21 points in the first two periods and the Pacers -- normally defensive stalwarts -- didn't seem to have an answer for him.
The Snub Also Rises— KJ_NBA (@KJ_NBA) January 31, 2014
Indiana started to fight its way back late in the third quarter. The Pacers pushed as they ratcheted up the defensive pressure, but Dragic and Markieff Morris wouldn't let the Suns lose their grip on a three-point lead as they entered the final quarter.
Leandro Barbosa and the Morris brothers came out firing as the Suns widened their lead to start the fourth quarter. Stephenson, another All Star snub, put up a triple-double but had to sit with foul trouble late in the game. Indiana again made push late but a Dragic dunk on the fastbreak with 44.8 seconds left sealed the win for the Suns.
Indiana was led by Roy Hibbert's 26 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Stephenson had 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Paul George logged 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting, 12 rebounds and four assists.
Dragic poured in 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting, adding seven assists. Both Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris were great off the bench, adding 15 and 16 points, respectively. Gerald Green scored 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting with four rebounds and two assists in his return to Indiana.
The win puts the Suns at 28-18, firmly in sixth place in the West. The loss moves Indiana to 35-10, three games ahead of the Miami Heat for first place in the East.