The Phoenix Suns were vastly outplayed by the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight and lost by a score of 112-88. The Suns only had 4 defensive stops in the first quarter, which allowed the Thunder to have humongous control right away at home. The lack of defensive play continued into the second quarter and the only hope for Suns fans was a big rally in the second half.
That didn't happen. The Suns pretty much turned it off in the third quarter and called it quits. I'm not saying they walked around the floor, but they were far less aggressive on offense and that led to the Thunder extending the deficit. Overall, this game was not fun at all to watch and you really saw what an elite offense could do to the Suns defense. The Suns have now lost five in a row and this might be the beginning of realizing where this roster is really at. Here's your brief quarter breakdown.
The first quarter was a strange one. The Suns did not get a defensive stop until the 5:19 mark. Alex Len hit a face up mid-range jumper. There was at one point an Isaiah Thomas, Archie Goodwin, Marcus Morris, T.J. Warren, and Alex Len five out there for the Suns.
Besides the disastrous start on defense, Markieff Morris picked up two quick fouls and the same for Eric Bledsoe. This is not something you can afford with Goran Dragic out. The thing about this quarter is that the Suns were getting what they wanted on offense a lot. They just didn't show up on defense and it cost them in a quarter they could have won. The Thunder scored 41 points in the quarter and I couldn't tell if the Suns should be down 25 or feeling like they should be close. I counted 4 stops for the Suns and it felt like a lot less.
Ugh. This was more of the same. Eric Bledsoe was aggressive and really flying all the way around the floor, but it didn't really matter because of how easy it was for the Thunder to score. Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists at the half on 7-13 shooting. Kevin Durant had 18 points on only 10 shots and Serge Ibaka did not miss. Nobody for the Suns stood out and we even saw Shavlik Randoplh at one point.
The ball started moving a lot less and the Suns were not consistently trying to attack the basket. Instead of showing any sort of fight and will to come back into the game, they started 3-12 from the field and that cued Shavlik Randoplh to check in yet again. If there was a quarter to sum up where this team is at right now, this was it. I started to wonder if Hornacek was going to keep the starters out there as a punishment, even on the front end of a back-to-back. I enjoyed Randolph checking in twice, as some might see it as Hornacek checking to see if anyone on the bench wanted it, but I liked it more of sending a message to the other players that this was where Hornacek's mindset was at with the team.
Hornacek went with Tyler Ennis, Goodwin, Warren, Len, and Randolph for most of this quarter. The Suns made it clear that they thought the game was over at the start of the second half so there wasn't much to get from this quarter at all. Ish Smith checked in and even Mitch McGary made his NBA debut. Like I said, nothing to attain from this quarter.
I didn't have anything new to say for this quarter obviously so I asked our own Sreekar, aka the best photoshopper on this side of the Mississippi, to put a sad Dragon in a cage. Here is his flawless work.
I hope that cheered some of you up. Hopefully the Dragon is back soon because the Suns have had a lot of trouble with back-to-backs and they face the Bucks at home tomorrow night at 7PM.