The Phoenix Suns' 103-83 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers last night was just plain horrible. Offensively, defensively, you name it.
Steve Nash knew it. "That was about as bad of a game as I've had personally and team-wise also as well," he stated to the press afterwards.
Head coach Alvin Gentry knew it, referring to the epic defeat as a "struggle."
Even worse, the 16,360 fans in attendance at US Airways Center knew it, as they booed the team during the third quarter when the Suns fell behind as much as 33 points. Phoenix is now 0-2, their worst season start in 15 years.
The Suns was competitive for the first 10 minutes of the game, trading the lead with the 76ers as Nash and Grant Hill were both nailing jump shots and Channing Frye worked the glass for eight rebounds. After Nash came out with 2:29 left in the first, it all went to hell.
Philly opened things up, scoring 12 of the final 17 points in the period before having an equally epic second quarter and coasting into halftime with a 14-point lead. Conversely, Phoenix only shot 30 percent in the first half.
It got even worse in the second half. The Suns made plenty of bricks instead of buckets, missing their first nine shot attempts. In fact, they didn't score until six minutes had expired in the third quarter. Nash, Hill, Frye, and Marcin Gortat were all cold as ice. Meanwhile, Philly grabbed turnover after turnover, hammered 63 percent of their shots, and scored 19 unanswered points.
Phoenix finally got in gear with 16 points to end the quarter, and then brought in bench players like Robin Lopez and Shannon Brown in the fourth in a comeback attempt, but the damage was done. With a 26-point advantage on their side, the 76ers waltzed through the final quarter to claim victory.
With the exception of 16 points from Ronnie Price and 14 each from Hill and Hakim Warrick, no Suns player scored in double figures. And when they weren't scoring, Phoenix's lineup was allowing 50 points in the paint.
"What can I say? Obviously, it was not what we anticipated," stated Gentry. "We're struggling mightily right now offensively. It's just so hard for us to get a shot off and so hard for us to get into any kind of rhythm. We've got to find a way to establish some rhythm so that we can back into transition defensively."
Phoenix might be hoping that former Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Michael Redd might be the answer to their offensive woes, as the team is reportedly close to signing the player. So don't be surprised if you see the onetime all-star in the Suns lineup when they take on the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night in the Crescent City. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. For more info, visit www.suns.com.
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