The Phoenix Suns kicked off the New Year with a kick in the face when the Los Angeles Lakers absolutely blew them out from the opening tip.
The day after New York dropped the ball in Times Square to kick off 2020, the Phoenix Suns dropped the ball in Los Angeles when they got absolutely drubbed by the Lakers.
30 points is a huge margin by which to lose a game, and the Suns were down 33…at halftime.
At the end of the first quarter, they were down 26, having given up 43 points and only mustering 17 of their own.
Don’t even bother looking at the final score and trying to garner some type of meaning. The Suns only lost by 10 after chipping away at the lead in the third quarter and making a run at the beginning of the fourth against the Lakers’ bench players.
Optimists will point out that the Suns never game up. They fought. They never backed down. They didn’t quit. They showed pride.
All of that may be true, but a lot of their comeback had to do with the fact the Lakers completely took their foot off the gas pedal, then got into the back seat and let the family dog drive.
It wasn’t until ole dad realized the dog was about the drive the car into a ditch when he resumed control and whipped her into the driveway. By that, I mean LeBron James and Anthony Davis came back into the game and sealed the Suns’ fate.
Pessimists would point out there was a stretch in the fourth quarter when the Suns’ deficit hovered around 10 where, if they missed a handful of wide open 3s, they could have made it a one-possession game. Instead, the Lakers kept them at arm’s length and the game never got into real contention.
Ultimately, the Phoenix Suns match up horribly with the Los Angeles Lakers and simply ran into a buzz saw Wednesday night.
The Lakers have so much size, and then you realize they have Boogie Cousins on the sidelines who hasn’t been completely ruled out of returning this season after tearing his ACL back in August. The Suns have Deandre Ayton who doesn’t exactly play with the kind of physiciality Lakers’ bigs do, and Aron Baynes, who doesn’t exactly have the hops Lakers’ bigs do (which led to his absolute posterization from the Brow).
Perhaps the most devastating loss within the loss was an injury to Ricky Rubio after being re-inserted in the comeback attempt. His feet got tangled up with Avery Bradley‘s, and his leg got pulled out from underneath him.
He hit the floor in a heap and ultimately limped off the court. The Suns hope it is nothing serious, but this leaves the team having to play eenie-meenie-miney-mo with their host of interchangeably sub-par backup point guards.
It hurts because the Suns are about to start a stretch of very winnable games, and could make a strong surge toward the 8-seed in the Western Conference over the next few weeks.
That run starts Friday when the Suns host the New York Knicks at home.