The Phoenix Suns’ preseason opener against Australia’s Adelaide 36ers did not go as planned. In fact, it went horribly, horribly wrong, as the Australian pro team walked away with a 134-124 win. And yes, the Suns did play their starters for a good chunk of the game.
The 36ers put on a freakish shooting clinic from behind the arc hitting 24-of-43 of their three-point attempts. That number is even more impressive given that they normally play at the FIBA three-point line, which is 18 inches closer to the NBA’s. Former Memphis and Tennessee-Martin standout Craig Randall led all scorers with 35 points for Adelaide.
While the Suns’ starters didn’t play the full game, they each played 22 minutes, which is more than head coach Monty Williams wanted to keep them on the court. Given that the 36ers came out of the gates scorching hot, Phoenix’s starters had to play a few more minutes, but it still wasn’t enough.
Cameron Payne led the Suns with 23 points while Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton added 22 points apiece. Devin Booker managed 13 points while Chris Paul distributed it well with 12 assists to his name.
“Just didn’t give them the respect that they deserve as a pro team,” Suns coach Williams said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to learn.”
At the end of the day, this loss means absolutely nothing for the Suns other than it shows them that they need to wake up before the start of the regular season. Thankfully for Phoenix, the regular season doesn’t tip off for another couple of weeks.
Adelaide became the first non-NBA team to knock off an NBA team since the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to Real Madrid in 2016. That Real Madrid team had a player by the name of Luka Doncic on it, but he scored just three points in his team’s upset victory.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter: @itismarkharris
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