Phoenix Suns stars angry after defeat to Victor Wembanyama-Less Spurs: “You can tell by the look on their faces…

MARCH 25: Bradley Beal #3 of the Phoenix Suns drives to the basket against Keldon Johnson #3 of the San Antonio Spurs in the first half at Frost Bank Center on March 25, 2024 in San Antonio, Texas. The Suns lost the matchup, a surprise to Beal and co.

The Phoenix Suns can’t really afford to lose any “gimme” games as its season schedule wraps up.

Last night, the Suns fell to a San Antonio Spurs team missing its best player, rookie center Victor Wembanyama, in a 104-102 decision.

The Suns have now fallen to a 42-30 record, good for just the eighth seed in a crowded Western Conference.

Phoenix is just 2.5 games ahead of the rising Los Angeles Lakers (39-32), currently on a three-game winning streak.

After the game, the Suns’ four most important leaders spoke out about the defeat, writes Andrew Lopez of ESPN.

“It’s a disappointment,” star shooting guard Bradley Beal said in remarks to attendant journalists.

“We came in here and laid an egg. We thought it was going to be easy with no Wemby. Just got our ass kicked.

They came out aggressive, just like [head coach Frank Vogel] told us they would, and we didn’t respond. Well, we did, but we didn’t withstand their punches

Beal didn’t really pull his weight in the loss.

The former three-time All-Star finished with just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field (1-of-4 from long range), six assists, five rebounds and two steals.

“It’s just unacceptable to lose that game,” Vogel himself remarked. “For our guys, we all said the right things.

We all did the right preparation. But we didn’t play with the necessary focus in this position throughout, I would say, the first half.”

“I’m not into disrespecting our opponents,” All-Star point guard Booker said of playing a depleted Spurs club without the (likely) All-Rookie Wembanyama.

” These guys are NBA guys. There are some talented young players over there… We weren’t unprepared. We knew what to expect.”

Booker finished with a team-high 36 points on 14-of-28 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe.

He also chipped in six boards, four dimes, three blocks, and a steal.

“We knew they were going to play harder [than Saturday’s 131-106 Suns blowout over San Antonio] and we knew they were going to play with more focus,” All-Star power forward Kevin Durant said.

“They got momentum at the end of the third and kind of cruised from there.

The game is about momentum.”

Durant had 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the floor (4-of-6 from beyond the arc).

He also had eight rebounds, six assists and a steal.

For their part, the Spurs were led by recently-extended shooting guard Devin Vassell and forward Jeremy Sochan, both of whom scored 26 points.

Sochan also had a game-leading 18 rebounds. Zach Collins got the starting nod in place of Wembanyama, and responded with 18 points and five rebounds.

The Suns will face the roughest final 10-game regular season slate of not just this year, but the last eight.

Phoenix’s impending opponents boast a combined .648 winning percentage, per Lopez.

“We like our chances against anybody,” Vogel insisted, upon hearing the news in a presser.

“We don’t worry about the schedule.”

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