Eric Bledsoe took the night off.
As it turned out, so did the rest of the Suns.
What ensued was one of the most embarrassing nights of the season, as from farm to fork the Suns got slaughtered and eaten.
Brandon Knight got the start with Eric Bledsoe back in Phoenix “resting” while Alex Len, fresh off his one game suspension, replaced Tyson Chandler (ankle/rest).
As Al McCoy put it, “The Rockets came right off the launching pad” and strung together 13 straight points to start off the game.
Alex Len picked up his second foul just four minutes into the game, but I’m pretty sure he was just trying to escape the bloodbath. It was already 20-3.
By the time it got to 27-5 (just halfway through the first quarter) I was starting to think this just might not be the Suns night.
Jared Dudley came off the bench to score 10 points in the first quarter and helped the Suns cool off the sweltering Rockets, but Houston still led 38-24 at the end of one. The Rockets were 7-14 from three point range.
The second quarter turned into a parade to the free throw line for Houston as the Suns decided they were going to commit lots and lots of fouls. Midway through the second quarter Dudley, Len, Alan Williams and P.J. Tucker all had three fouls.
Houston shot 29 free throws in the first half compared to just 10 for Phoenix.
At the halfway point it was a season high 77 points for the Rockets to just 53 for the Suns. Harden led the way with 26 points. Devin Booker had 14 for the Suns.
The only thing I saw that looked worse than the Suns in the first half was a commercial for jalapeno chicken fries.
Len picked up his fourth foul about a minute into the third quarter. Then his fifth a few seconds later on an offensive foul.
I guess I was right about him just trying to get off the floor.
The Rockets opened the period with a 14-1 run that ballooned the lead to 91-54.
The rest of this recap might not be my best work because I freely admit I stopped really paying attention to the game at this point.
The Rockets took their first 40 point lead of the night when they pulled ahead 101-60 with a little over five minutes left in the third period.
At the end of three it was 111-77 and Harden had 40. The only obstacle between him and dropping 50 was the chasm on the scoreboard.
Wondering why you haven’t heard much about Brandon Knight in this recap? Probably because he took advantage of a rare opportunity to start by scoring three points on 1-8 shooting to go with zero assists. It was still a good trade, I don’t care what anyone says.
Len, meanwhile, fouled out in just 20 minutes.
I guess one takeaway from this game would be that Eric Bledsoe is really important to this team... and Alex Len is not.
Once the time finally ran out it was a 133-102 pasting. The 31 point margin was the Suns biggest loss of the season. The Suns have now lost six of their last nine games by double digits.
I mean, it’s one thing to be bad, but this just wasn’t very much fun at all.