With 5:09 to go in the first quarter, the West-leading Phoenix Suns (16-9) took a 16-13 lead over the East-leading Boston Celtics (21-5) on a patented Chris Paul mid-range shot, and this looked like it would be a barn-burner between two of the best teams in the NBA. Maybe even an NBA Finals preview.
From that point on, the Celtics outscored the Suns by 30 points the rest of the HALF. Boston outscored the Suns by 13 points the last 5 minutes of the first quarter, and then by 17 in the second quarter to take a 27-point halftime lead, 69-42. They were first to the ball at every turn — rebounding, passing lanes, loose balls — and the Suns hung their heads lower and lower by the minute.
At halftime, Suns All-Star Devin Booker had more fouls (4) than shots made (3), and the Suns as a team had made only 1 of 16 three-point shots.
I just threw up a little in my mouth. Do I even need to cover the second half?
/Checks game preview
/Checks my pregame twitter poll on whether this game means anything
Does the outcome of Suns-Celtics tonight mean anything for the 2022-23 season, Suns fans?— Dave King (@DaveKingNBA) December 8, 2022
75% said ‘Nope’. They probably all want to change that vote right about now.
/checks back on the game. Oh, it’s 88-49 Celtics now? Maybe the game’s almost ove— nope. Not even halfway through the third quarter.
Despite the Suns playing on their own home floor, with a sold out crowd ready to cheer them on, after a chance to gather their thoughts in the locker room at halftime, they scored ONLY 7 POINTS IN THE FIRST 7 MINUTES OF THE SECOND HALF. I mean, even the Bender/Chriss Suns never did that. The Celtics, with a 27-point lead, started the second half on a 25-7 run.
Counting the Mavs game on Monday, these Suns really know how to get blown out by a billion don’t they?
Here’s the starters final lines...
Total. Team. Effort.
Final score: Celtics 125, Suns 98
One bright spot: Josh Okogie got some good run (23 minutes) and scored a season high 28 points, making 4 of 6 threes. He even took a 30-foot heat check! Before this game, Okogie had only made 3 threes all season. He also had 10 (of the team’s 19 total) free throws, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a block. So, cheers to Josh.
Next up: Pelicans for a pair of road games this weekend. Excited yet?
The Suns scored their first 10 points in the paint, going after the empty Boston middle since both Al Horford and Robert Williams are out. All the Celtics have left is Blake Griffin, who’s quite the statue these days.
Also, neither team could hit an outside shot. The Celtics started just 2-8 on threes while the Suns started 0-7. The Celtics had the early lead, 20-16, because they at least made some twos. After nine minutes, the Celtics boasted a 45% overall shooting percentage to the Suns’ 35%. Ugly start, offensively.
Booker started his second straight game with a string of misses, in this case going 0-5 in the first 9 minutes.
Then the Celtics went on a run, because of course, and suddenly the Suns were down 30-18. By the end of the run, the Suns just weren’t running any offense — the first guy with the ball tried to make something happen... and it didn’t. For the Celtics, Malcolm Brogdon scored 8 of their 10 points in the run.
And the end of one, the Suns were down 31-21. And it felt like more than a 10 point deficit. They were 0-8 on threes, compared to the Celtics 4-11, shooting 38% overall to the Celtics 50%. Not trending well. Booker is only 2-8 from the floor, but leads the team with 6 points. LOL.
The second quarter didn’t start any better for the Suns. Outside an Okogie three pointer, the Suns missed another three while Celtics went on a 9-0 run of their own and took a 40-24 lead. This is getting out of hand quickly.
As the Celtics took a 54-30 lead, I’ve decided to put as much effort into this recap as the Suns put into this game...