You know it’s the preseason when you give up 37 one quarter and then just nine the next.
But what’s most disconcerting about the Suns’ crazy 110-105 overtime loss is that Oklahoma City’s rotation players outplayed Phoenix’s rotation players before the Suns’ deep reserves brought them back.
The Suns trailed by 20 points with just over eight minutes left, and they trailed by 16 a minute later when Dan Dickau and Alando Tucker replaced LB and Goran. For the final five minutes that duo was joined by Carlos Powell, Earl Clark and Taylor Griffin. Not exactly your Phoenix Suns of yesteryear.
Yet this scrappy group of underdogs clawed their way back from a 10-point deficit with under 3:30 left and even had a chance to win in regulation on an Earl Clark jumper. Powell’s driving layup with 30 seconds left tied things up.
The Suns took their first lead of the game in overtime, but then James Harden did what he often did at ASU last year when he was the best player on the floor and led the Thunder to a victory.
What’s most disconcerting is how poorly the starters played in this one. Unlike Saturday when the Suns’ starters jumped out to a 27-14 lead over the Warriors and played a strong third quarter as well, the Suns trailed 17-2 before they knew what hit them in this one.
After fighting back to tie things up, the Suns’ starters and rotation reserves allowed the lead to balloon back to 20. And this is Oklahoma City we’re talking about.
Following a stellar outing against the Warriors, Channing Frye hit just 2-of-10 shots (although only one miss was from deep) and was a minus 18 in plus-minus for the game. Surprisingly, Steve Nash wasn’t much better at a minus 14.
Amare led the Suns with 20 points, and Jared Dudley (with 12) was the only other Sun in double figures. So basically it was the strangest game you’ll ever see and exactly what you’d expect out of preseason.
The Suns did make one nice gesture in this one by starting rookie forward Taylor Griffin, a native of Oklahoma City and a Sooner the past four years. Griffin received a loud ovation, according to the AP recap.
Blake’s big bro scored four points and grabbed three boards in 18 minutes, but the start to his night wasn’t pretty. Here’s the first three entries in the Suns’ play-by-play sheet: Taylor Griffin shooting foul (drawn by Durant), Taylor Griffin bad pass (Sefolosha steals), Taylor Griffin bad pass (Westbrook steals).