The Phoenix Suns ended up losing the game, and were outclassed for most of it, but the young players and fans had a really exciting 29-8 run late in the fourth quarter to make it interesting.
"I don't even know how to explain that fourth quarter," coach Jeff Hornacek said with a laugh. "That was a pickup game down at the park. They were missing shots and layups and we came down and got back in the game. Those guys fought."
No one got the crowd louder than Devin Booker, who made a splashy three-pointer right in front of the Rockets bench to momentarily put the Suns up by 5 with 48 seconds left at the end of the big run.
"That's what it's all about," he said afterward. "Those are the moments I've been dreaming for, hitting shots and the crowd goes crazy. There was a great energy in there today. The crowd got us back in the game, honestly. So, they helped out a lot."
Booker scored 20 points in only 22 minutes, as the Suns appeared intent on giving Archie Goodwin a good chance to prove himself. It certainly appears that Booker has already earned a regular season rotation spot ahead of Goodwin, so it's incumbent on Goodwin to take that back. He didn't.
Watch Booker gush about the excitement.
Tony Buckets showed up, as he always does, on the offensive end. He scored 21 points in only 24 minutes of game time, with 12 of them during that crazy 29-8 run.
"Yeah, me and Devin did a pretty good job feeding off each other," Warren said. "He was making shots, staying aggressive and I picked it up - it was a hard fought battle and good to come back. Unfortunately we didn't get the win, but some things we can work on."
Warren and Goodwin had a hard time playing well together last year at Bakersfield since both love to drive the ball to the rim and neither likes his long-range game.
It appears that Booker and Warren fit better together on the floor, thanks to Booker's shooting.
Speaking of shooting, new backup power forward Mirza Teletovic loves to shoot. He almost never passed, always finding a way to get the shot off.
It took Mirza some time to get his legs under him, as he hasn't really played healthy NBA basketball in more than a year. He played 35 minutes in this game, and seemed to get more comfortable the more tired he got.
"To come out and just have the opportunity to run up and down and just try to get in shape and everything with the ball, I felt much better," he said. "I had a lot of defensive problems because I had no legs in the beginning running up and down, but after getting more minutes I felt much better and better and at the end I felt good."
This was a typical, awful preseason game that suddenly had the feel of a playoff tilt for a few minutes there in the 4th quarter. More than half the arena was still there, standing, cheering and anticipating shots as they were in the air. No one complied better than Devin Booker, whose shot looks as pure as a shot can look.
The only other really interesting, but forgettable at the same time, moment was Brandon Knight making yet another bad decision to step in front of a freight train on his way to the rim. This time, it was Clint Capela.
Clint Capela dunks on Brandon Knight, with baseline view https://t.co/92Laa7RqaR— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) October 14, 2015
Brandon Knight is one of the smartest individuals in the NBA. How can he not mentally calculate the negative-15% chance he's going to stop these guys?