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Suns enter dubious territory with latest blowout loss

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, center, dunks next to Phoenix Suns' Josh Jackson (20) and Alex Len (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

You could have almost seen this coming.

A young team without its best player in the second-to-last game before the All-Star break heading on the road to take on a team who has won two NBA titles in the last three seasons.

Monday night’s Suns-Warriors game had blowout written all over it.

It was.

The Golden State Warriors, who had the coaching reins handed over to the players by head coach Steve Kerr, rebounded after a shaky start to annihilate the short-handed Suns 129-83 at Oracle Arena.

The loss was Phoenix’s sixth straight and their fourth of the season by 40 or more points, which puts them in very rare territory.

According to Basketball-Reference.com, the Suns are only the third team in NBA history to suffer four 40-point blowouts in the course of one season, joining the 1970-71 expansion Cleveland Cavaliers and the 1991-92 Sacramento Kings. Incidentally, two of the Kings’ four such losses that year were issued by the Suns — both coming at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Suns are a frustrated bunch — some individual players more than others.

Forward Jared Dudley voiced his displeasure on Kerr’s coaching tactics to ESPN’s Chris Haynes after the game, but admitted a lot of it is self-inflicted.

“It shows a lack of respect for an opponent, and maybe right now we don’t deserve respect,” Dudley said. “When you keep getting beat by 40, teams won’t respect you. But it’s up to us to change that.”

The Suns travel to Utah Wednesday night to face the Jazz, who are riding a 10-game winning streak. The teams have split two meetings this season.

The game can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station, with pregame coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. Tip-off is at 7:00.

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