On Sunday night, the Phoenix Suns dropped their home preseason opener, 134-124, to the Adelaide 36ers of the Australian National Basketball League.
NBA’s First Preseason Loss Against a Non-NBA Team
The Suns, who lost their last home game to the Dallas Mavericks by 33 points in Game 7 of the Western Conference playoffs, became the first NBA club to lose a preseason game against a non-NBA team since the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2016 against Real Madrid.
Current Mavs sensation Luka Doncic was a member of that Real Madrid club, and he scored 3 points in overtime as his team defeated OKC, 142-137. The 36ers, who use the FIBA 3-point line (18 inches closer than the NBA’s), shot 24-of-43 from outside the arc.
Craig Randall, who spent time at Memphis and Tennessee-Martin before making his way to the G League, and Robert Franks led the way with a combined 67 points and 15 three-pointers. Randall scored a game-high 35 points on 13 of 21 shooting, including 9 of 17 from beyond the arc, while Franks added 32 points on 11 of 20 shooting, including 6 of 10 from deep.
Monty Williams, the coach of the Suns, remarked that his players “just didn’t give them the respect that they deserve as a pro club.”
“This is a fantastic learning experience for all of us.” Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton both contributed 22 points for the Suns, while Cameron Payne led the team in scoring with 23 points. Devin Booker scored 13 points.
Mitch McCarron dished up 16 assists for Adelaide, while Chris Paul of the Suns racked up 12 assists for his team.
All Had a Limit on The Number
Williams agreed that the starters for the Suns all had a limit on the number of minutes they could play but admitted that they ended up playing for a little bit more than he had expected. Williams said, “I actually got them a bit higher than I wanted to.
They became competitive, and they wanted to come back, but I wasn’t going to allow those guys to come back.” “I got them a little higher than I wanted to.”
The Suns, who finished the earlier NBA season with the best record in the league at 64-18, chipped into the advantage of the 36ers in the second half, but they were unable to catch up to the guests because Randall scored 24 points after the break.
The 36ers were able to get off to a quick start in the first half thanks to their 3-point shooting. By making 10 of its first 17 3-point attempts, Adelaide was able to build its advantage to as high as 16 points in the first half. Williams said that he believed that his team did not do an excellent job of reading the game.
“Once they hit a couple [3s] in the first quarter, I don’t believe we knew that these guys would keep making shots,” the commentator said. “I didn’t think we had an awareness that these guys would keep making shots.
” Bridges and Ayton were leading the way for the Suns in driving to the basket and dominating offensively.
Making a living off of the trade of baskets was not beneficial to Phoenix. And Adelaide kept its hot shooting from outside the arc going throughout the game, while the Suns were only able to make 9 of 34 shots from beyond the arc.
The previous year’s National Basketball League (NBL) season ended with the Adelaide 36ers finishing seventh out of ten clubs with a record of 10-18.
On Friday, Adelaide will wrap up its tour of the United States by taking on Oklahoma City Thunder, which features Australian athlete Josh Giddey.