It was a massacre Wednesday night, as the Detroit Pistons dominated the Phoenix Suns in almost every aspect from the second quarter on. The Pistons won their fourth straight game at the Palace of Auburn Hills, taking care of the Suns by 40 points, 117-77. The Suns had their worst shooting night, making 34.1 percent of their shots, and scored the fewest points this season in the second half, with 33. After the Suns held Cleveland to a season low 13.3 percent shooting from three last night, the Suns allowed the Pistons to shoot a season best 75.0 percent against them, as they made 12 of 16 from beyond the arc. The Suns committed the most turnovers (19), dished out the fewest assists (11), and allowed the Pistons to score a season best 25 points off of turnovers. Suns head coach Alvin Gentry said, “I mean there’s nothing to say. It was a total abortion really. We sucked in all phases of the game. It was beyond embarrassing.” It was a complete disaster for the Suns, who were looking to win back-to-back road games for the first time this season, and even their record to .500.
Things started out well, with the Suns matching the Pistons shot for shot in the first quarter. After scoring just four points against Cleveland, Markieff Morris scored 8 of the Suns first 19, including two three-pointers. He would end the game with a total of 10 points. The Suns combined shot 60.0 percent from the field, including 4 of 6 from three, but also committed 7 fouls and 9 turnovers. Tayshaun Prince got the Pistons going early, scoring 9 of the first 17 for Detroit. In a quarter that saw six ties and eight lead changes, the first quarter score ended tied at 24.
The Suns were settling for too many deep outside shots in the second quarter. They were 0 for 13 from beyond 16 feet, including 0 for 7 from three, as every shot was hitting the front of the rim. The Pistons had a 10-2 stretch midway through the period, and Rodney Stuckey and Corey Maggette came off the bench to score eight each for Detroit. Stuckey would finish the game with 18, including 10 of 11 from the stripe. Luis Scola came off the Suns bench to score eight points in the quarter, and would finish as their leading scorer with 11 points, as well as grabbing a team high six rebounds. The Suns found themselves down 14 points with less than three minutes till halftime after Corey Maggette drained a wide-open three from the top of the arc. The Suns shot 28.0 percent in the quarter, and found themselves trailing 55-44 after allowing the Pistons to make 5 of 6 from three in the first half.
Averaging 32.5 points in the third quarter over the last four games, the Suns offense unraveled in the third quarter of this game. Missing five easy layups and committing three early turnovers, frustration started setting in for the Suns. In just over five minutes of play, the Suns Markieff Morris, Shannon Brown, Goran Dragic, and Sebastian Telfair all committed technical fouls. Meanwhile, the Pistons were scoring easy buckets and shooting free throws, and before you knew it, the Pistons had extended their lead from 11 to 26. The Suns only scored one basket in the first eight-and-a-half minutes of the quarter, and Suns coach Alvin Gentry started making wholesale substitutions. Suns fans got to see first round draft pick Kendall Marshall score his first points as an NBA player, a three-pointer. Six of the Pistons eight baskets in the quarter came inside the paint, and their other 10 points came from the free throw line. The Suns found themselves trailing 81-60 after three.
With the game out of reach, both teams played mostly their reserves throughout the final period. Other than Markieff Morris, Goran Dragic was the only other Suns starter to score double digits. He finished with 10 points and 1 assist, but his streak of 10 games with at least two steals ended. Kendall Marshall and Wesley Johnson, who rarely see playing time, finished with seven points each. Charlie Villanueva would sink 3 of 4 from three, and score 13 points for Detroit in the fourth period. After coming off a season-high 26 point game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Brandon Knight would score nine in the fourth, and finish tied with Charlie Villanueva as the leading scorers with 19 points each. Knight, speaking of the Pistons home court said, “When teams come here, they have to know they are in for a fight and need close to a perfect game to get out of here with a win.” The Phoenix Suns fell far short from a perfect game Wednesday night.
The Suns had won seven of the last eight meetings against the Pistons, including a 92-89 victory in Phoenix earlier this year. This was the Pistons highest scoring game of the season, and their largest margin of victory in almost five years. The Suns have dropped to 1-2 halfway through their six-game road trip, and it will surely be a night to forget. The Suns will look forward to a day of rest before taking on the struggling Toronto Raptors (3-13) on Friday. They will finish their road trip against the New York Knicks on Sunday, and taking on the Memphis Grizzlies next Tuesday.