The Suns Swept By Minnesota: Games 3 and 4 Recap

On Friday night, the Phoenix Suns were back at home at the Footprint Center with their backs against the wall being down 2-0 in the first round of the NBA Playoffs to the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

The Suns would have to adjust, as they were informed before tip-off that they would be without Grayson Allen. Royce O’Neale started in place of the injured Grayson Allen. 

The game started out with both teams battling back and forth. Eric Gordon had the hot hand early for Phoenix and the Suns trailed 34-32 by the end of the first quarter.

Heading into the second, there was a loud eruption in the building and it was a great spark of energy. That was the presence of Bol Bol getting his first shot at minutes in this series where the game was still at a competitive point. This is what the Suns had needed, but after Jusuf Nurkic left Rudy Gobert inside Bol Bol was left with the job of covering Gobert, and that did not work out. It was still a close game, the Suns were only down by one, 52-51 and ended the quarter down 59-53.

All the Suns momentum would be erased in the second half, as it was a complete disaster for Phoenix. Anthony Edward’s 36 points and Rudy Gobert’s 19 and 14 along with his defense were the main factors in Minnesota stunning the Suns in front of their own fans. Fans were leaving the game early, giving up on their beloved team.

Josh Okogie checked in in an attempt to spark the energy for Phoenix. That was one of the few things that actually worked for the Suns, as Okogie was a plus minus of two. In his nine minutes of action, he had 8 points and he was all over the court making hustle plays, even being ejected from the game on a flagrant foul two on Rudy Gobert. Okogie being in the lineup should’ve happened way earlier.

Anthony Edwards took over this game and it was clear that he was having all of the fun in the world. The Suns just looked lost and tired, as they have for many parts of the season. With their backs to the wall heading into game four down 3-0 these could be the final games of the season, because no team has come back from being down 3-0. They will have one final shot on Sunday for game four.

It was almost a night and day difference if you compare the Suns’ effort levels for games three and four. But unfortunately for Phoenix, they would be the first team to exit this year’s NBA Playoffs after being swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves, as they lost game four 122-116. Anthony Edwards continued to dominate with his 40 point performance.

Frank Vogel saw Josh Okogie have a positive impact in game three and he made the decision to let him play early. With that, there was no sign of Drew Eubanks and Jusuf Nurkic had limited minutes. 

Devin Booker and Kevin Durant played their hearts out as they both played over 40 minutes. Booker had a and a new playoff career high 49 points. That was the best he played this postseason, as he said in his postgame press conference, “I have to be better.” Well Book wasn’t exactly himself this year or series, but you have to look at it from all angles and also give props to Jaden McDaniels for doing a phenomenal job guarding Booker this series. On the other hand for Book, this year has been way different than others. 

This Suns team had the highest expectations in the league after creating “the big three” and it just seems like there was no consistency all year. Guys were either injured or unhappy with their role, and they were finally looking like a winning team until after all-star break. A lot of it just doesn’t make sense and there were way too many questions that were being asked about this team’s identity.

 It’s very unfortunate for how this season played out for the Suns. After looking back on it, there were way too many holes for this to compete for a championship. Those holes will need to be filled if they want to keep trying to accomplish their goal of winning it all. Right now it seems impossible for this team to win and fans have every right to feel that way because of the lack of effort all year, but if you make a handful of moves that can put you in the right direction then you are looking on the right path once again. Those moves being bigger wings who can defend, a backup point guard, guys who can knock down shots, a backup center, and perhaps a coaching change. If the Suns plan on keeping James Jones, that means he and Mat Ishbia have to work hard together to get this team out of the position they are in now and make moves based on fit. This thing isn’t completely over, but unlike this year next year the team will have to find its identity from the start of the season and continue to gel together all year long.


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