Basketball is a funny sport. One minute you could be riding high, the next you could be searching for answers.
Heading into Thursday night's game against the Houston Rockets, the Phoenix Suns were winners in four of their last five games, including three-straight. Steve Nash was named an NBA All-Star reserve eariler in the afternoon. Nash tied a franchise record, making his 6th All-Star appearance as a Suns and his 8th overall.
Phoenix was in postition to make another statement in hopes of turning the season around. Instead, the Suns were left wondering how they let another home game slip away.
The Rockets won their third straight, beating the Suns 98-89, in large part due to their bench. Houston had five non-starters in double figures, outscoring the Suns bench 57-13.
"Our bench did another great job tonight," Rockets head coach Kevin McCale said after the win. "There's a lot of ebbs and flows on the road. Veteran teams understand that. We were just able to battle through it."
Still, the Suns had plenty of chances in pull away, but the offense disappeared in the second and fourth quarters. Phoenix average just 14 points in both quarters, shooting 37 percent from the field.
"You've got to hand it to them," Nash said. "But such a winnable game for us. We didn't convert in so many areas so it makes it a really disappointing loss. You're going to have cold patches, but you have to find other ways to saty in the game."
With the loss, the Suns fall to 5-7 at the US Airways Center this season, which is starting to frustrate head coach Alvin Gentry.
"We have to find a way to win games at home," said Gentry. "We cannot be a sub-.500 team at home, that won't work out."
Phoenix begins at quick three game road trip beginning in Sacramento on Saturday before returning home on February 15th against Atlanta.