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Just how rare is the Phoenix Suns losing three buzzer-beaters in their last 23 games?

Taking a look at the Suns recent bad luck in losing on buzzer-beating shots this season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After losing on a buzzer-beater  - defined as losing on the last shot taken in the game as the clock runs out - on Friday night against the Houston Rockets at home, the Phoenix Suns now have three such losses in just the last 47 days (23 games) alone.

Let's relive them for a moment.

First, the Beardt:

Then, the Blake:

And then the Middleton:


Let's put this into perspective, thanks to the research skills of our own Jim Coughenour. In the entire NBA season, there have only been 13 such buzzer beating winners. That's out of 651 total losses (ie. games) this NBA season. Or a 1 in 50 chance, across the board.

If you take the Suns' three out of the mix, the average NBA team has only a 1 in 65 chance to lose on a buzzer beater this season. Since no one's even come close to playing 65 games yet, there's a really good chance your favorite team not named the Suns has NOT had to lose on a buzzer beater.

The Suns, by comparison, have 3 buzzer-beater losses in the last 23 games alone. Or, a 1 in 8 chance.

Is the Suns franchise snake-bit? It certainly seems like the Suns have a penchant for losing on buzzer beaters.

I distinctly remember Roger freaking Mason making a buzzer beater on Christmas Day in 2008, when Jason Richardson over-helped on a Tony Parker drive.

More recently, there's the Ron Ar---

No. I refuse to show that one.

Moving on.

Careful analysis by our resident data-miner Scott Howard, and verified by Jim Coughenour, reveals that prior to December 8 the Suns had only lost on a buzzer beater three times in the past four+ NBA seasons. That's a 3 in 349 chance, or 1 in 116 chance.

So no. Losing on a buzzer beater does not happen to the Suns very often.

Joe Johnson, last season (2013-14):

And then there was James Harden in 2012-13, but this time on a Jermaine O'Neal "assist".

Yep, Jermaine. O'Neal.

And then there was J.R. Smith, also that fateful, hated 2012-13 season.

That's it. None in 2011-12. None in 2010-11.

That's three in four+ seasons between the 2010 playoffs and December 8, 2014.

And then all of the sudden, the Suns have managed to lose on buzzer-beaters three times in the last 23 games alone.

How? How have the basketball gods decided to have so much fun with twisting and gashing the Suns' hearts?

Part of it is that the Suns have managed to put the other team into a buzzer-beating situation an incredible amount of times this past month or two.

  • Remember Kevin Durant missing a couple of potential game-winners in the last OKC game that the Suns ended up losing in Double-OT?
  • Or, the squeaked-out win over "no heart" KCP and the Pistons, when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a buzzer beater at the end of the Suns 88-86 win in Detroit?
  • Or, the squeaked-out win over Minnesota just two weeks ago at the start of the homestand, in which rookie Andrew Wiggins missed a wide-open three at the buzzer of that 113-111 win?

Come on, Suns.

Stop testing the basketball gods!

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