The Phoenix Suns continued their ugly preseason with an uninspiring 144-106 loss to the Denver Nuggets, who were without Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Nene Hilario, Al Harrington, Kenyon Martin, and Chris Anderson.
"It just happened to be one of those games," said Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry. "I don't think we'll be giving up close to 150 points in games. It's an alarming thing, but it's something we got to solve and we got to solve it soon."
Phoenix was only down 29-25 after the first quarter, but then behind a 22-point second quarter by Ty Lawson and 13 points from Shelden Williams, the Suns gave up an astonishing 49 points.
It was clear there was a lack of energy by the Suns in the second quarter, which was highlighted by a Nuggets five-on-one fast break and two easy hoops after Suns baskets with the defensive not paying attention, the second of which led to an Alvin Gentry 20-second timeout where he lit into his lethargic team.
Jason Richardson believes the lack of vigor starts with him.
"I just didn't have the energy like I normally did," said Richardson. "Me being the leader, a team captain, and a guy that the team relies on for scoring, I got to bring it every night. There can't be nights off, even in the preseason."
Luckily for the Suns, this wraps up a disappointing preseason where they struggled to a 2-6 record.
Next time Phoenix takes the court, on Tuesday, October 26 at the Portland Trailblazers, the games are for real.
It will be interesting to see if this veteran Suns team is able to flip the switch once the games count or if these lackluster preseason performances are a sign of things to come.