10 Phoenix Suns opening night facts you didn’t know

Phoenix Suns Jason Kidd (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Jason Kidd (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns open their 51st regular season in the NBA against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday the 17th of October, 2018. Here are 10 opening night facts about the Phoenix Suns you did not know.

Interesting (Opening Night) Statistics/Facts

1. The Phoenix Suns have lost their last three opening night games, all in Phoenix: Dallas Mavericks in 2015 (111-95); Sacramento Kings in 2016 (113-94); Portland Trailblazers in 2017 (124-76). Those losses are by an average of 116-88. The Portland loss was the biggest spread (48) of any game on opening night in NBA history.

2. The Phoenix Suns are 25-25 all-time on opening night. They are 16-9 at home, and 9-16 on the road.

3. The Suns and Mavericks have met on opening night three times in the past with Dallas winning all three games: 1983 (in Dallas, 120-103), 2005 (in Phoenix 111-108 in 2OT, the Suns’ only 2OT game on opening night in franchise history), and 2015 (in Phoenix 111-95).

4. The most points the Phoenix Suns have ever scored on opening night is 136 in a 136-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors in 1989.

5. The fewest points the Suns have scored on opening night is 73 when they lost to the Seattle SuperSonics 73-86 in Seattle in 2002. Last season in their loss to Portland the Suns came only 4 points away from breaking that record.

6. This game will be Igor Kokoskov’s first as head coach. Phoenix Suns head coaches who’s first game with the franchise was on the team’s opening night of a season (not HC’s who have taken over at some point mid-season) are 6-3 all-time with their results as following:

1968 Johnny “Red” Kerr              W – 116-107 v Seattle
1970 Cotton Fitzsimmons         W – 119-100 v Boston
1972 Butch Van Brenda Kolff    L – 117-105 v Milwaukee
1973 John MacLeod                     W – 115-111 v Seattle
1987 John Wetzel                         L – 118-104 @ Portland
1988 Cotton Fitzsimmons         L – 120-105 @ Portland
1992 Paul Westphal                   W – 111-105 v Clippers
2008 Terry Porter                        W – 103-98 @ San Antonio
2013 Jeff Hornacek                     W – 104-97 v Portland
2018 Igor Kokoskov                                             v Dallas

7. The most points the Suns have allowed on opening night is the 128 to Portland in 1988. Portland won 120-105, Cotton’s first game back as head coach. (The most they have allowed in a non-overtime game is 123 in a 127-123 victory over the Golden State Warriors in 1986.)

8. The fewest points allowed on opening night by the Suns is 82 in a 112-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks in 2004, Steve Nash‘s first game back with the Phoenix Suns.

9. The Suns have held four-game opening night winning streaks on two occasions, from 1977-80, and again from 1989-92. Their longest losing streak on Opening Night stretched five seasons from 1999-03.

10. The Phoenix Suns have taken their opening night game and turned it into a streak, one way or the other several times over their last 50 seasons. The franchise’s best start to a season is 5-0 all the way back in 1984. Unfortunately the streak was not the start of a very special season as Phoenix finished 36-46 and a 3-0 sweep in the first round to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The franchise’s worst start to a season was 0-13 to open the 1996-97 season, which of course ended up being a very special year as the Suns finished 40-29 the rest of the way and ended the year 40-42, including an 11-game win streak in March/April making them the first team in NBA history with a double-digit winning and losing streak in the same season. Phoenix lost in the first round of the playoffs to Seattle, but took the #2 seed to five games.

Next. Igor Kokoskov's 3-point shooting dream number. dark


Many people have compared Deandre Ayton to Shaquille O’Neal (including Ayton himself) so I figured, why not: let’s see how Shaq did in his very first NBA game and see if Ayton can match (or even best) the Shaqtus’ first outing:

1992-11-06 ORL v MIA 110-100 (32:00) 12p/18r/2a/1s/3b/8to/6pf