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Suns Strokes: Phoenix closes out 2012-13 season with blowout loss to Denver

The Phoenix Suns closed out their forgettable 2012-13 season Wednesday night with a 118-98 blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Playing without Goran Dragic (ankle) and Jermaine O’Neal (shin), Lindsey Hunter’s squad looked listless from the start, as the Nuggets scored 35 points in the first quarter. Denver extended its lead to 26 by halftime with another 30-point quarter in the second period, and from there the final 24 minutes were nothing short of a painful formality.

The Good:

In his third career start, Kendall Marshall finished his rookie season with a career-high 14 assists. The former first-round pick was, however, only 1-of-5 from the field.

Hamed Haddadi also came off the bench and had a night to remember despite the final outcome. The Suns center scored a career-high 14 points and snagged seven rebounds.

Shannon Brown, who went from bench contributor to starter to rarely-used reserve in 2012-13, also added 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

The Bad:

There was plenty of bad in Wednesday’s finale (38.8 percent shooting from the field, 28 percent from three-point range, allowing 80 paint points) but the 20-point loss served as a fitting culmination to one of the most painful seasons in franchise history.

The Suns finished with a 25-57 record, their worst since the 1968-1969 expansion season.


• The Utah Jazz didn’t do the Suns any favors Wednesday night. Tyrone Corbin’s squad lost 86-70 to the Memphis Grizzlies, securing the Los Angeles Lakers’ spot in the postseason. Phoenix will only receive one lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

• With the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 105-98 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats Wednesday night, the Suns finished with the fourth-worst record in league. Phoenix will have a 11.9 percent chance to win the No. 1 overall pick.

• The Suns went 12-29 under interim coach Lindsey Hunter.

Up Next:

The Suns’ season came to a close Wednesday night, and players will clear out their lockers Thursday at US Airways Center. The upcoming offseason will be one of the more intriguing ones in recent history and dates to look forward to are May 21 (NBA Draft Lottery) and NBA Draft (June 27).