April 16, 2024

Suns suffer ‘unacceptable’ loss vs. Victor Wembanyama-less Spurs

SAN ANTONIO — Phoenix Suns guard Bradley Beal did not mince phrases on Monday evening following a disappointing efficiency.

The Suns, two days faraway from beating the San Antonio Spurs by 25, performed the identical staff in the identical area, and this time the Spurs have been lacking star rookie Victor Wembanyama.

Yet the Spurs flipped the script with a 104-102 victory.

“It’s disappointment,” Beal advised reporters after the sport. “We came in here and laid an egg. We thought it was going to be easy with no Wemby. Just got our ass kicked. They came out aggressive, just like Coach told us they would, and we didn’t respond. Well, we did, but we didn’t withstand their punches.”

The loss despatched the Suns to 42-30 on the season. It was additionally their third loss in 4 probabilities towards the Spurs, who’re the final within the Western Conference.

“It’s just unacceptable to lose that game,” Suns coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “For our guys, we all said the right things. We all did the right preparation. But we didn’t play with the necessary focus in this position throughout, I would say, the first half.”

Phoenix now units off on the hardest ultimate stretch of any staff within the NBA whereas within the midst of a good race to remain out of the Western Conference play-in. The Suns’ ultimate 10 opponents have a mixed successful proportion of .648.

According to ESPN Stats & Information analysis, it is the hardest ultimate 10-game stretch for the reason that 2015-16 Memphis Grizzlies, who had two video games every towards the 67-15 Spurs and the 73-9 Golden State Warriors.

When requested a query in regards to the schedule, Vogel abruptly answered.

“We like our chances against anybody,” he mentioned. “We don’t worry about the schedule.”

Phoenix tried to take command within the third quarter, however the Spurs answered with a 16-2 run over the top of the third and begin of the fourth to grab the lead.

San Antonio led by 9 with 4:49 to go, however the Suns roared again and took the lead by the two:09 mark. With 51.8 seconds remaining, Devin Booker hit two free throws to place the Suns up 102-101.

San Antonio answered with a 3-pointer by Jeremy Sochan with 29.2 seconds left to retake the lead. Phoenix opted to not take a timeout — and did get appears by Booker and Kevin Durant, however each missed, giving the Spurs the victory.

“We knew they were going to play harder [than Saturday’s game] and we knew they were going to play with more focus,” Durant advised reporters. “They got momentum at the end of the third and kind of cruised from there. The game is about momentum.”

Sochan completed with 26 factors and a career-high 18 rebounds for San Antonio.

“I’m not into disrespecting our opponents,” Booker mentioned in regards to the Spurs not having Wembanyama. “These guys are NBA guys. There are some talented young players over there. … We weren’t unprepared. We knew what to expect.”

Beal left the sport with 2:51 remaining and didn’t return due to a sprained proper ring finger. He mentioned the finger, which had been damage earlier than, acquired caught in somebody’s jersey and was “pretty painful.”

He does assume he’ll have the ability to go within the Suns’ subsequent recreation towards the Denver Nuggets. Vogel mentioned X-rays have been damaging on Beal’s finger.

Beal wasn’t the one Suns starter to depart the sport with an harm. Starting heart Jusuf Nurkic was injured with 9:08 remaining within the third quarter and didn’t return due to a sprained proper ankle.