The Phoenix Suns’ week continues to go from bad to worse with each passing day. In the wake of the news that Eric Bledsoe needed surgery to repair his right meniscus, Jeff Hornacek’s squad has struggled to stay afloat without its dynamic guard out on the court.
Friday, Phoenix fell just short in a 104-99 loss at Memphis. And Saturday, it was more of the same, as the Suns found themselves taking one in the loss column for the third time in their last four games. This time, in a 110-108 heartbreaker to the Detroit Pistons.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s two-point loss by the numbers:
Despite trailing most of the night, the Suns were able to tie the score with just over seven seconds to go on three free throws by Gerald Green. However at the other end of the floor, Pistons forward Josh Smith delivered the final blow of the contest with a contested, game-winning bucket in the lane with 1.2 seconds remaining.
Effort and hustle have quickly made P.J. Tucker a fan favorite during his first two seasons in the Valley. Saturday, the third-year forward was at it again and in rare form, forcing not one but two jump balls.
Rookie center Alex Len has now played in as many games (4) during Phoenix’s six-game road trip, as he played previously all season long (4). Len had four rebounds to go along with five personal fouls in the loss.
Tucker also grabbed a team-high 11 boards against Detroit, giving him a double-digit rebounding effort for the fifth time this season. He also finished with 17 points.
Brandon Jennings tied a Pistons’ franchise record for most assists in a quarter with 11 in the opening frame.
And speaking of Jennings, the first-year Piston finished an NBA season-high 18 assists against the Suns to go along with eight points, eight rebounds and a steal.
The Suns briefly erased an 18-point second half deficit thanks in large part to Channing Frye, who scored 18 of his team-high 21 points after halftime. Frye connected on five of his 10 three-point attempts in the loss.
The new year hasn’t been kind to the Suns on the glass. For the second time in nine days, Phoenix has allowed an opposing team to grab a season-high 59 rebounds. Of Detroit’s 59 Saturday, 20 came at the offensive end. The Pistons also scored 68 total points in the paint.
For the first time in 2013-14, the Suns gave up 60 or more points in the first half of a road game. Phoenix did allow more than 60 back on Dec. 13 in a home win over the Sacramento Kings.
Josh Smith wasn’t just the hero Saturday night, he was the Pistons’ most-efficient scorer. The 28-year-old made 11 of his 16 shots (68.6 percent), marking just the third time in 2013-14 he’s shot at least 65 percent from the floor.