Not only did the Phoenix Suns lose Eric Bledsoe to what looked like a bad knee injury (MRI tomorrow), they lost to the 1-30 Philadelphia 76ers who had previously been 0-18 on the road this season.
A combination of Ish Smith and Kendall Marshall for the Sixers gave the Suns yet another revenge game - something very common in these here parts this season, all started by Marcus Morris earlier in the year.
What a bad, bad Suns team this is right now. The crowd booed the Suns at the final buzzer.
Some good points:
- Tyson Chandler had a double-double (10/10)
- Brandon Knight had 21 and 7
- Devin Booker had 17 points
The Suns first offensive play was designed well to get Eric Bledsoe a shot on a curl around the paint, but after that the Suns offense sputtered on a series of second-guess hesitations leading to a little bit too much passing.
Alex Len missed a couple of point-blank shots at the rim - one a dunk, the other a layup - and the Suns just couldn't get the ball going in the hoop very much.
The Suns made only three of their first 10 shots before finally getting a breakaway to score on a layup. But then they kept missing and soon found themselves down 19-8 and not even looking like they cared a whole lot about that.
Talk about a shell-shocked team. No one wants to screw up, but when you're playing not to screw up you end up screwing up even more.
Somehow, the Suns got themselves down by 16 at one point, and finished the first quarter down 29-16.
TO A TEAM THAT HAS LOST ALL 18 ROAD GAMES IT'S PLAYED THIS YEAR.
The quarter opened with a Brandon Knight steal/layup, and then Sonny Weems provided some spark with a made three pointer that finally took the lid off the basket. Warren followed with a three of his own, then Brandon Knight made one of his patented 22-footers.
But the Sixers kept scoring and kept the Suns at bay with easy cuts to the basket the Suns simply couldn't/wouldn't defend.
Then the worst happened. Eric Bledsoe fell down on the defensive end without any contact, and could not get back up. He had to be carried off the court, putting no weight on his left leg. That's not good. Not good at all.
The only bright side was that this became Devin Booker's show for a bit. He made two straight threes then drew a shooting foul driving to the basket. Overall, he scored 9 very important points in a four minute stretch, while Weems collected a couple of assists.
Jeff Hornacek drew a technical foul yelling at the refs for not calling a shooting foul against Nerlens Noel on an Alex Len drive and score.
All in all, the Suns were able to cut to juggernaut Sixers lead to just 6 points by halftime, and were up to 37% shooting.
Eric Bledsoe was ruled out the rest of the game, so Devin Booker started in his place. After giving up a three to Isaiah Canaan, Booker played well and helped the Suns continue to close the gap.
Brandon Knight, now the main point guard, scored 5 quick points after Canaan's three on a jumper and a steal/layup/and-one.
The Suns finally tied the game on an Alex Len pick and roll drive on a pass from Devin Booker and took the lead on a Knight jumper.
The Sixers stayed in the game by making threes, including one that could have tied the game at 65 if Hollis Thompson had converted the 4-point play.
The Suns and Sixers traded baskets the rest of the quarter, with the Suns maintaining a slim lead much of the time.
Then Nick Stauskas went OFF for three straight threes to put the Sixers up 8 before Kendall Marshall drained a three with 1 second left to make it an 11-point lead.
That was a 12-0 run folks. By Stauskas and Marshall.
That's the Suns season right there.
Hornacek finally subbed in scorers to start the 4th, with Booker, Knight and T.J. Warren coming out along with Leuer and Len.
The refs even tried to make it easier on the Suns, taking a point back from the Sixers (one of Stauskas' threes was made a two) to make it just a 10-point lead.
But the Suns refused to win.
On three straight Sixers misses they corralled their own rebound for a putback and stopped a Suns fast break.
Then on consecutive threes, the Sixers lead was an astounding 16-points.
This is just unbelievable.
Let me remind the readers:
- Sixers are 1-30 on the season
- Sixers are 0-18 on the road
- Sixers are the worst offense in the league
- Sixers are the 5th worst defense in the league
- Sixers have a 16-point lead in the 4th quarter on the Suns
Brandon Knight had a chance to cut the lead to 6 on a three-point play, but he missed the layup and then missed a free throw. After that, Nerlens Noel converted a three-point play extend the Sixers improbable lead back to 11.
Then after he made a three, he had a chance to cut the lead to 5 on a three-point play, but again could not make the after-contact layup.
This was a real bad loss for the Suns.
The worst of the season, in fact.