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The Suns Lost A Preseason Game To The Adelaide 36ers Of Australia’s NBL

The Phoenix Suns‘ first game since their stunning Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals took place on Sunday night. The team played host to the Adelaide 36ers of Australia’s top professional league, the National Basketball League, as they kicked off their preseason slate ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Unfortunately for Phoenix, they learned the hard way that the 36ers can play. Adelaide walked into Footprint Center and took it to the Suns, knocking down shot after shot from behind the three-point line en route to a 134-124 victory. While all five members of Phoenix’s starting lineup — Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, and Chris Paul — only put in 22 minutes worth of work, the 36ers still put on a show, connecting on 24 of their 43 attempts from behind the three-point line.

A pair of Americans playing in Australia, Robert Franks and Craig Randall, were especially impressive on the night. The former had 32 points and seven rebounds, while the latter had a game-high 35 points. Both combined to go a scorching hot 15-for-27 from three.

Kevin Pelton of ESPN noted that this was the first time that an NBA team lost a preseason game to a non-NBA team since 2015.

The silver lining for the Suns is that this is their first basketball game after almost five months off, and their starters did not exactly shoulder a gigantic workload. Still, for a team that left such a bad taste in everyone’s mouths with how their season came to an end last year, it’s hard to imagine a worse way for their 2022-23 campaign to begin.

Phoenix’s next preseason game will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers.