Much to the disbelief of their fans, the Phoenix Suns beat the Sacramento Kings Saturday night after a wide open last second shot didn’t go in.
When Harrison Barnes found himself ridiculously wide open for a game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds of Saturday night’s game, every Phoenix Suns fan knew it was going to go in. They’ve seen this show before.
The Suns play themselves out of a lead and find a way lose in devastating fashion. It has happened time and time again.
As the ball was in the air, seemingly for minutes on end, fans prepped their frustrated tweets and writers scoured the thesaurus for yet another synonym for gut-wrenching to insert into their headlines.
But just as those tweets and articles were about to post, a strange thing happened: Barnes’ shot caromed off the rim. The shot missed.
In the immediate aftermath of the missed would-be game-winner, it didn’t feel like the team’s eight-game losing streak came to a triumphant end. The players seemed to react the same way they would have if it had gone in.
Aron Baynes, who blew the defensive assignment on Harrison Barnes to leave him wide open, gripped his mutant beard with two hands, knowing he had just gotten away with a huge mistake.
Devin Booker stomped off the court, and if my lip-reading is up to par, said, “I’m sick of that [expletive], man!”
So, it wasn’t just Suns fans that knew that shot was going in. It was the players too.
But it didn’t. It didn’t go in. So no matter how much fans might have been frustrated if it had, or how much Baynes is beating himself up for leaving Barnes wide open, or how aggrieved Booker might have felt after his team nearly blew another game after yet another big time performance (32 points, 10 assists), the fact is the Suns won.
The Suns are currently have a W1 in the streak column, and that’s what everyone should focus on. Not the blown 14 point lead. Not Baynes’ blown defensive assignment. Not the fact they got lucky Barnes missed that shot.
The basketball gods mixed things up and delivered the Phoenix Suns the win. Relish in it. Be proud of it. And more importantly, build some momentum from it moving forward.
The Suns take on the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night in an attempt to start a win streak.