PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns were hoping to rebound from a lethargic
offensive performance in their season-opening loss to the New Orleans
Hornets. Instead, their offense took a step backward in an
embarrassing 103-83 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers at U.S. Airways
The Suns struggled mightily offensively in the first half and trailed 48-34
at the break. Jrue Holiday had 8 points in a 19-0 Philly run to start the
2nd half and effectively put the game away. The Sixers (1-1) led by as
many as 34 points in the third quarter.
“We’re struggling mightily right now offensively,” head coach Alvin
Gentry said. “It’s so hard for us to get a shot off and it’s so hard for us
to get into any kind of rhythm.”
The Suns have now been held under 85 points in back-to-back games to
start the season. It’s the first time they’ve been held under 85 in
consecutive games since January of 2005 when they scored 80 and 79
points respectively in losses to Detroit and Memphis.
Steve Nash missed both of those games with an injury. The two-time
MVP was in the lineup for the Suns on Wednesday, but by his own
admission, didn’t play very well.
“That was about as bad a game as I’ve had personally, and team-wise it
obviously was as well,” Nash said.
This was a historic performance of sorts for Nash, who played just 17
minutes and had 4 points on 2-of-11 shooting while dishing out 1 assist
and committing six turnovers.
But Nash wasn’t the only Suns starter shooting blanks vs. Philadelphia.
The entire starting five shot just 7-for-35 (20%) from the floor.
Phoenix is now 0-2 for the first time since the 1996-97 season, which
started with 13 straight losses. But that year ended with 42 wins and the
Suns made the playoffs under the tutelage of rookie head coach Danny
Ainge. This year’s Suns have a similar goal, and Nash knows that starts
Friday night in New Orleans against the Hornets.
“We’ve got to try and find a way to win a game,” he said. “We’ve
obviously proven we’ve got a lot of work to do but we’ve got to find a
way to grind one of these games out.”
Struggling – Forward Channing Frye played just 13 minutes on
Wednesday and missed all four of his field goal attempts. Frye is now
just 1-for-10 from the floor on the season.
Bright spots – The Suns did get a nice effort from reserve
guard Ronnie Price. The free agent, who was playing just his second
game in purple and orange, led Phoenix with 16 points and 4 assists.
Gentry also singled out Hakim Warrick (14 points) and rookie Markieff
Morris (9 points) as players who did good things for the Suns.