You do not have to win every quarter — but not getting blown out in one of them is imperative.
Unfortunately the Phoenix Suns, they could not avoid a catastrophic third quarter that saw the Los Angeles Clippers take a 22-point lead into the final frame after the game was tied at the half.
Phoenix showed some late life, but not enough to overcome their dreadful third quarter, eventually falling to the Clippers 120-107.
On the surface, Saturday night’s loss is not devastating, as there is little shame in losing on the road in the second game of a back-to-back. However, the Suns have to leave the City of Angels with the thought of “what if.” What if they limited the mistakes coming out of halftime? What if they played like they did in the fourth quarter a little sooner?
The Suns have now lost two games in a row, and four of the last six, falling to 5-5 on the season after a strong start. Phoenix has five more road games, all out East, before returning to the friendly confines of U.S. Airways Center.
At the team heads toward the Atlantic Ocean, here’s a look at Saturday’s game by the numbers:
The Suns gave up a whopping 42 points in the third quarter — sinking any hopes they had of starting their six-game road trip with a victory. Phoenix managed only 20 points of their own, its lowest output in any of the four quarters on Saturday.
Gerald Green led all Suns with 26 points off the bench. It was his third 20+ point performance of the season. He scored 28 points against Brooklyn and 26 points against the Lakers earlier this season.
Phoenix’s starting five really struggled to score as a unit. The group of Eric Bledsoe (1), Goran Dragic (19), Marcus Morris (3), Markieff Morris (5) and Miles Plumlee (8) combined to score just 36 of the Suns’ 107 points.
The number 19 was the favorite number among Suns guards on Saturday. Both Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas scored 19 points. The two also combined for nine assists and five turnovers.
Alex Len recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 boards. His last double-double came against the Spurs in the second game of the season.
Phoenix did a good job limiting its turnovers on Saturday. They turned the ball over just 10 times, while Los Angeles had more than twice that number with 21 giveaways.
Total number of technical fouls in the game, three by the Suns and one by the Clippers. Matt Barnes and Gerald Green were both ejected from the game, at different times, in the fourth quarter.