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Turnovers costly in loss to Bucks

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The Suns stumbled, bumbled, and fumbled along their path to defeat.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns
Yeah... The Suns left me bewildered at times too...
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not going to say that Suns coach Jay Triano was pissed after his team’s 113-107 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday night, but he did seem to be very not happy.

“They pressured us and they played smaller tonight,” said Triano. “They knew they had to get up and into us and they were touching us and touching the ball and they were physical with us. You have to give credit to them, they forced our turnovers.”

Now, to a certain extent, you can buy into that. The Bucks were aggressive in the passing lanes and did a good job of mucking up the game, but 29 turnovers is an obscene amount. The total is tied for 8th most in a game in franchise history.

While the Bucks deserve some of the credit for this, the Suns should shoulder their share of the blame.

“I don’t know if it’s impatience offensively because I’ll take 29 bad shots over 29 turnovers,” Triano said. “So shoot the ball. You have a better chance of it going in than if you try to throw it across the court to somebody. Bad shots can be rebounded, or sometimes they go in. We have two more of those go in and this is a different story.”

You know it’s been bad when the coach is lamenting the team wasn’t taking enough bad shots after the game. Also, you can construe that Triano voiced his displeasure in the locker room before he met with the press.

“From the very start they were very physical with us, I think we had 29 turnovers,” said Devin Booker. “It’s hard to win a game like that.”

Seeing that Booker knew the exact number, I’m guessing that the turnover situation might have been a point of emphasis during the post-game pep talk. Of course, Booker is right.

In the team’s history, Phoenix has only committed 29 or more turnovers on 11 occasions. The team is 2-9 in those contests. The last such occurrence was over 18 years ago against the Chicago Bulls.

Courtesy Basketball-Reference.com

The Suns shared culpability for the lack of ball control. All ten players committed at least one turnover and everyone but Tyson Chandler had at least two.

Dragan Bender, who played a career-high 34 minutes, led the team with five. Unfortunately for Bender, a couple of those came at very inopportune moments in crunch time. Bender still had one of the better games of his career, though, which was why he earned minutes late in the game.

The Suns' streak of three games with at least 28 assists came to an end as the team finished with just 15. They only had four assists at halftime.

They were still sharing the ball, however, just with the other team. This resulted in 14 first-half turnovers.

Ultimately, this can be a learning experience for the players and a teaching opportunity for the coach. This type of stuff is embarrassing and won’t be something they will want to repeat anytime soon.

Phoenix is a young team and will probably fall short of 30 wins this season. A team that loses lots of games can’t always play well in defeat. This was one of those games they absolutely deserved to lose.

Next up for the Suns are the New Orleans Pelicans (10-8) Friday night to end the team’s stretch of 9 of 10 games at home.

Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins present new opportunities/challenges for Phoenix’s bigs, so I’m guessing we won’t witness another 29 turnover fiasco.