The Phoenix Suns won for the sixth time in eight games Friday, downing the Minnesota Timberwolves, 110-99, behind 21 points from Goran Dragic.
“We’re just trying to keep this thing rolling and take advantage of this nice home stand,” Suns forward Brandan Wright said on Ferrall on the Bench.
Wright scored 11 points off the bench to help the Suns (24-18) win and drop the Timberwolves to 6-32 despite 26 points from Mo Williams.
“This is an NBA team,” Wright said. “You got to show up every night. It doesn’t matter what their record is. They got NBA talent also. So we had to take that approach tonight. We were a little sluggish in the first half. We came out in the second half and put those guys away.”
Second-year big man Alex Len was dominant on the glass for the Suns. The 7-1, 21-year-old grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, as Phoenix out-rebounded Minnesota, 46-36.
“He’s playing great,” Wright said. “He’s developing. For us to make the playoffs, he has to continue to get better. This is going to be a total team effort. Each guy has to bring something to the table, and if we do, we’ll be a dangerous team.”
Phoenix shot 55.2 percent from the floor and 81.8 percent from the line, as five Suns – Wright, Dragic, Gerald Green (19), Eric Bledsoe (16) and Markieff Morris (13) – finished in double figures.
“I think we’re just coming together,” Wright said. “It’s around that time where teams usually get a little tired. You hit the halfway mark and All-Star Break is right around the corner, but we have a lot of youth. We have a lot of guys who have something to prove after last year. We just got to keep pushing. Each game counts. It’s going to be a race to the end.”
Or a race to the end of the month. The Suns have a brutal stretch upcoming, with home games against the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Rockets, Clippers, Wizards and Bulls and a road game against the Warriors on Jan. 31.
“Oh yeah, it’s a tough schedule,” Wright said, “but we got to approach each game one at a time. We can’t look ahead. We can’t look down the line. We know those teams are very, very good and have won a lot of games. But we got to take it one day at a time. I think if we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Of course, “one day at a time” has taken on a whole new meaning for Wright, who is playing for his third team this season. He began the year in Boston, was shipped to Dallas and is now with the Suns.
“It was a little crazy,” said Wright, 27. “I never would expect to be traded from Dallas, but things happen. That’s the NBA. You got to be prepared. But I’m getting back into a rhythm now. Hopefully I can get all the stuff off the court straight with (my living situation) and all that stuff and I can enjoy myself in the nice Phoenix weather.”
Wright, who is averaging 7.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game this season, foresees an ever-expanding role with the Suns.
“I think it’s going to continue to build,” he said. “It’s only my third game with the Suns, so I think everything is going to continue to get better. Tonight was another step as far as me establishing myself around here. But like I tell the guys and like I tell the media, I think I’m only going to get better and better. I think we’ll be good to go.”