The Phoenix Suns came out hot to start the game tonight, taking an early lead in the first quarter 24-21 while shooting 53% and holding the Portland Trail Blazers to only 30%. After that, well...Let's just say things got markedly worse for the Suns from that point on.
The Suns scored only 9 points in the second quarter and followed up that horrific performance by scoring only 12 points in the third. On top of that, they turned the ball over 11 times and allowed Portland to score 26 points in the second and 31 points in the third. This isn't exactly a formula for success, and the Suns struggled to find any offense whatsoever from any player not named Grant Hill, who was still the only Suns player in double figures going into the 4th quarter. Sebastian Telfair hit a three point shot in the last minute of the 4th quarter to bring his total to 10 points...He was the only other player to reach double digits in scoring for the Suns tonight.
In contrast, Portland did what they wanted to all night long with LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 23 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in just three quarters (never played in the 4th), Gerald Wallace scoring 17 points, Wesley Matthews with 16 points, and Nicholas Batum with 14 points.
The Suns lost their third game in a row in pathetic fashion tonight, losing 109-71 and barely avoiding a franchise low scoring record thanks to a last minute three point shot by Sebastian Telfair, who was then subsequently tossed moments later after receiving his second technical foul of the night after not getting a foul called on a lay-up attempt. The entire night for the Suns was filled with missed opportunities, missed shots, and was missing intensity.
Read on after the jump for more on what went wrong tonight.
In the post game interview, even Suns' coach Alvin Gentry looked just as bewildered and at a loss for an explanation as anyone. Gentry made note of the horrendous 9-point second quarter and cited that as a major reason for the loss tonight. Of course, that wasn't the whole reason for the loss...The Suns were actually outscored in the second half of the game 62-38 as well, so it's not as if just one quarter was to blame.
Since there simply isn't any one thing to put a finger on as the reason for the complete and utter collapse tonight, perhaps it's best to sum up the game in a word...Pathetic.
Rather than attempt to describe just how badly the Suns fell apart tonight, take a look at the game notes and read through the quarter-by-quarter descent into oblivion that became the Suns modus operandi for the evening.
Suns off to a nice start with baskets from both Hill and Nash to start the game.
Sloppy offense turns into two quick fast breaks from Portland to tie it up 4-4
Gerald Wallace off to a fast start scoring all 6 points for the Blazers (But none on Grant Hill yet)
Morris commits his 2nd foul already forcing Frye to come in off the bench. Foul trouble has been a concern for the rookie.
LMA abuses Frye in the post to get to the rim and put back his own miss
Suns leading 13-10 through the first half of the first quarter. Suns currently shooting 55%, Portland shooting only 30%. Blazers with 8 rebounds and the Suns with 5. Grant Hill leads all scorers with 7 points.
Hill with another basket…Now has 9 points.
Wallace gets his first bucket on Hill
Nash with his 5th assist on a pretty pass to Frye for a dunk!
At the end of the first Suns up 24-21. Suns shooting 53% and Portland shooting 35%. Suns with 14 rebounds and Portland with 12. Grant Hill leads the suns with 10 points and Gerald Wallace has 10 points for the Blazers. Steve Nash with 4 points and already has 6 assists. Suns and Blazers with 7 TO’s each.
Suns have two quick turnovers to start the second quarter
Nash is on the bench to start the 2nd quarter, let’s see if the suns can keep their lead
Suns have turned the ball over three times and missed one shot to start the second quarter without Nash…Portland scores 7 unanswered points to take the lead 28-24. Gentry calls timeout
Telfair hits a jumper after the time out to end the Suns’ dry spell
LMA abuses Fry again in the post for another put back basket…This time with the and-one
Portland taking command now from fast breaks off missed shots…Blazers lead 42-30 halfway through the 2nd quarter. Portland has outscored the Suns by 19 points since Nash left the floor…Gentry is sending the starters back in
Michael Redd comes in with the starting unit in place of Price
Grant comes back in and instantly hits a jumper...Now has 12 points
Suns’ offense is still struggling even with the starters in…Missed shot after missed shot now.
Morris with another foul, his 3rd…Replaced by Warrick
Suns can’t buy a bucket right now
At the end of the second quarter Blazers lead 47-33. Suns only scored 9 points in the second quarter compared to Portlands’ 26. Suns now shooting only 37% to Portlands’ 42%. Suns committed 11 TO’s in the first half, Blazers committed 10. Suns have 27 rebounds, Blazers have 31. Grant Hill leading the Suns in scoring with 12 points. LMA leading the Blazers with 17 points and 6 rebounds. Marcus Camby leads the Blazers with 11 rebounds, Gortat leads the Suns with 7.
Suns start the 3rd quarter with sloppy offensive possessions again. Portland scores the first 5 points of the quarter
Suns still missing shots…Four straight misses to start
LMA with another shot, this time over Markieff
LMA spins free of Markieff again for the alley-oop at the rim.
Blazers have outscored the Suns 13-3 in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter and currently lead 60-36. This game is getting out of hand quickly. Gentry with another time out to try anything to get this team going
Another Suns turnover…Ugh
More open shots by the Blazers…Missed shots by the Suns. After scoring only 9 points in the 2nd quarter, the Suns have now scored only 6 points in the first 7 minutes of the 3rd. Blazers now up 68-39. Gentry calls timeout again.
Dudley hits a jumper…yay?
Childress is in now…Why not?
At the end of the 3rd quarter the Suns are down 78-45. Grant Hill is the only Suns player scoring in double digits with 12 (gortat 8pts 10rbs). Portland currently has four players scoring in double digits. Suns scored only 12 points in the 3rd quarter after scoring only 9 points in the 2nd.
Suns score the first basket of the 4th quarter…Dudley now with 6 points.
Portland then scores six unanswered points…Gentry calls a timeout
Portland now has nothing but reserves on the court…Suns still getting all they can handle
Suns commit offensive foul trying to inbound the pass out of the timeout…I don’t think that’s what Gentry drew up
Childress with a dunk off a Dudley assist!
Telfair gets to the rim for a layup
Markieff Morris still has yet to score a point in this game…What happened?
Suns are getting absolutely destroyed 104-64 with two minutes left in the game.
Suns narrowly avoid setting a franchise low scoring record…They get to 71 points off a Telfair 3 pointer.
Morris finally gets on the board with a three-point hit. He's 1-4 from the field tonight and has 4 rebounds
Gortat will lose his 9 game double-double streak…Ends with 8 pts 10rbs. Doesn’t play in the 4th quarter
Telfair gets tossed on his 2nd technical foul of the game with 7 seconds left to play.
Suns shoot 37% on the night, Portland shoots 47%. Suns commit 22 TO’s, Portland commits 14. Suns outrebounded 59-50. Suns lose 109-71
The Suns have another game tomorrow night at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. Alvin Gentry obviously chose to rest his starters in the 4th quarter so they would be fresh for tomorrow's game rather than try unsuccessfully to mount any type of comeback. Still, there's simply no excuse for this team to play this poorly. Even without the kind of talent on the roster that the Suns are accustomed to, there is still no reason for such a poor showing as this one. Where do they go from here? Who knows, but something has to change, that much is evident.
Hang on Suns fans...the winds of change are soon to be a blowin' on Planet Orange.