But there was one ideal moment in the middle of that disaster, a moment which will go down in the history books, when all five Suns players moved in flawless unison like a top synchronized swimming team. From beginning to end.
Suns coach Earl Watson said he was “embarrassed” by what happened.
The Suns’ loss was also the worst in an National Basketball Association season opener for any team.
And this was to a Trail Blazers team missing its second-best player.
The Blazers outscored the Suns 69-34 in the second and third quarters. Damian Lillard led all scorers with 27 points.
In fact, this impressive win against the Suns set a league record for the largest margin of victory in the season opener.
For Phoenix, guards Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker scored 15 and 12 points, respectively.
After Booker’s 13-footer tied it at 17, Lillard sank a layup and the Blazers bolted away from there. Bledsoe was 4-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line for 12 points at halftime. Backup guard Mike James, from Grant High, had 12 points.
Prior to the news, McCollum was projected to score 24.7 points and account for 38.9 FanDuel points across 36.3 minutes in Portland’s first game of the season. That group produced a plus-11.3 net rating in 419 minutes a year ago, and Portland went 14-6 in the 20 games during which all three were healthy enough to play. But that was nothing compared to the 15-0 close to the period that gave Portland a 25-point halftime lead, 60-35. The Suns missed their last nine shots.
After three quarters, the Blazers led 98-55. But that wasn’t the worst of it.
What they wrote: It’s just the preseason, but the facts that Portland went 5-0 and Evan Turner found his shooting stroke are both good signs. He said, “Portland came in here and basically kicked our butts as bad as they could”.
Suns: Len sat out the game with a sprained left ankle.
McCollum served a one-game suspension for leaving the bench area during an altercation in last week’s game in Phoenix. The Los Angeles Clippers held the previous record on November 6, 1987, in their game against the Denver Nuggets with a 46-point deficit. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Unfortunately for the Suns, it was all downhill from there.