Awful. Terrible. That's all we really need to say, right?

The Suns set a franchise low in scoring in a half with just 24 first half points, and the Spurs weren't even playing that well. The Suns just did not have any fire, any spark.

By the end of the game, the only fans left in the arena were Spurs fans, who cheered loudly for a three pointer by Matt Bonner to put the Spurs up 101-74 with 28 seconds left.

That's how bad it was.

First quarter

Both teams started slowly in terms of pace. It's just that the Spurs made their jumpers while the Suns did not (starting 0-5 from the floor). The Spurs got out to an 8-0 start before Eric Bledsoe and Markieff Morris got scores on drives to the rim.

The Suns pulled to 10-7 before the Spurs got a couple scores on nice ball movement ending in a Leonard shot and a transition bucket for a 14-7 lead.

The lead got to 24-13 as the Suns missed 17 of their 21 shots in the quarter. The Spurs weren't even really playing especially well, and that's the only reason the Spurs lead was only 11.

They seem to be going through the motions, hoping uninspired offensive possessions ending in bad jumpers will serve them well.

Second quarter

The first half of the second quarter was awful.

Just awful.

The Suns got down 20 by not making a single field goal for the first five minutes of the quarter while allowing the Spurs to get most of their shots on bunnies in the paint. They just kept pounding the ball in there time after time.

As the quarter inexorably rolled on, twice SA coach Gregg Popovich called timeouts on 2-0 Suns runs keyed by broken play fast break scores. LOL.

That's all I need to say about the second quarter.

Oh, one more thing: Danny Green had a three from 30 feet out to put the Spurs up 51-24 at half.

In the process, the Suns set a FRANCHISE low for scoring with 24.

Note: Brandon Knight came up lame in the first half with a hip pointer.

Third Quarter

You'd think maybe the Suns just needed a wake up at halftime...

But no.

The lead easily got to 31 simply because the Suns continued to refuse to make shots - even the easiest ones.

They scored only 5 points in almost 6 minutes of play.

For the quarter they finished with 17. It was a veritable offensive onslaught with 12 points in the last 6 minutes of the quarter.

Spurs up 75-41. Just playing basketball. Not even really playing that well. Spurs shooting 44% after three quarters, making only 2 of 14 three pointers. And they're up 34 points.

Fourth Quarter

The Suns began the 4th with Goodwin, Len, Bullock, Warren and Marcus Morris and went on a 8-0 run... and Pop didn't even call a timeout to stop the bleeding.

That's how far gone this game was.

Marcus Morris scored 15 points all by himself in the first half of the fourth, and the Suns cut the Spurs lead to a mere 18 points, but then Popovich put Kahwi Leonard back in to push the lead back to 24 with 4 minutes left.

In good news

  • the Suns defense will appear improved after this game. They "held" the Spurs to under 45% shooting and 12% on threes.
  • Alex Len had a good game on the boards (9) but was pulled with 3 minutes left, breaking his consecutive games streak of double digit rebounds at 5.
  • Marcus Morris had 19 points and 7 rebounds
  • The Suns did NOT, I repeat DID NOT, break their single-game record for fewest points (68) so this game won't be in any record books

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As part of an ongoing process to meld technology with the live basketball experience the Phoenix Suns are introducing iBeacon and mobile payment technology in their "Smart Arena."

In November of 2014 the Suns announced an extension of their partnership with Verizon and embarked on a journey to transform US Airways Center Talking Stick Resort Arena (this naming rights transfer just seems really awkward) into a "Technology Wonderland."

The vision of a new "Smart Arena" is materializing with the introduction of new iBeacon technology and mobile payment options. In addition to Verizon Wireless, Levy Restaurants is working with the Suns on improving quality and accessibility of the food and beverages at the arena.

The iBeacon technology will give Suns fans access to embellishments such as free seat upgrades, locker room tours, autographed merchandise and other game-night incentives. This seems even more high tech than the trusty t-shirt cannon. Maybe the denizens of the upper bowl will even be included.

Because we all know that rich guy in row seven needs another free t-shirt.

The iBeacon program is available to fans through the Suns mobile app.

The Suns have also incorporated Apple Pay and Google Wallet as methods of payment at all concession stands across the arena. That's a great plus for people, like me, that aren't in love with carrying cash.

Talking Stick Resort Arena originally opened in 1992, making it the 8th oldest arena in the NBA. The construction cost was $90 million. The league's newest arena is the Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic. It was built in 2010 with a construction cost of $480 million.

Even using inflation adjusted numbers the difference would still be approximately $150 million (Talking Stick) to $520 million (Amway). That's a chasmic gap to bridge.

Suns President Jason Rowley acknowledged this in a statement.

"Today's fan experience is more technology-driven than ever before. And, while many new venues have been quick to adopt the latest technology, we are extremely proud to have identified a model that has kept US Airways Center - at 22 years old - on the cutting edge."

It is definitely a challenge to turn an arena built before the first smart phone (Can I get an amen for the IBM Simon) into a "Smart Arena", but the Suns feel they are up to the task. Eventually there will be a new arena conversation, but for now the Suns continue to be on the forefront of enhancing the live game experience for their fans just as they are on the forefront of using new analytics to improve the on court product.

A preview of tonight's Suns game against San Antonio with Eric Bledsoe coming into it on a roll.

      
 
 

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