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Suns’ collapse raises Frank Vogel’s frustration with tough road ahead

Jan 5, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns coach Frank Vogel looks on during the first quarter of the game against the Miami Heat at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Playing against a Memphis Grizzlies team that was without their best player, Ja Morant, the Phoenix Suns faced yet another 4th quarter collapse, leading them to end the homestand with a 121-115 loss.

In the 4th quarter, the Grizzlies erupted for an early 19-5 run to erase a double-digit deficit. They ended up beating Phoenix 35-18 in the final 12 minutes.

However, the Sun’s problems did not just all of a sudden appear out of the shadows in the 4th quarter. All night, it was apparent that they were not on their A game. Key players were missing wide-open looks, there were too many defensive miscues, and offensive rebounds seemed impossible to grab.

Whenever the Sund did begin to pull away, their largest lead in the game was 14, Memphis would quickly answer with a run of their own.

After the loss, Frank Vogel did not hold back, stating, “We didn’t play well enough for 48 minutes, honestly.” Followed by, “We did not deserve to win tonight.”

Kevin Durant, who missed the previous three games due to right hamstring soreness, was supposed to be on a minute restriction. But, since the Grizzlies continued to stay close, Vogel was forced to leave Durant on the court longer than initially expected. Durant ended up playing 36 minutes, which is right around his season average.

Considering the Suns were as close to fully healthy as you can expect, were playing at home, and were up against a team without their best player, the game should have been a great chance for Phoenix to take care of business and rest some of their stars before heading on the road.

Instead, Vogel had to play every starter for 32 minutes or more. While Durant did not appear to cause any more harm to his hamstring, as he is listed as probable against the Clippers, the Suns are now forced into a position where they need to regain momentum against the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers.

Of Phoenix’s next 14 games, 11 will be on the road. This means lots of travel leading to not a great deal of rest.

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