Based on the success of last year, the Phoenix Suns and head coach Jeff Hornacek have a new attitude this season, and their “Fuel the Fire” marketing is exactly what it is all about. The team has taken on a new personality, and came into Wednesday’s season opener with high expectations for a successful 2014-15 NBA season. The Suns ran all over the Los Angeles Lakers despite Kobe Bryant scoring a game high 31 points. Although the Lakers will not be a good gauge for the Suns success this season, a decisive 20 point win is exactly the type of performance the Suns were looking for to start the year off on the right foot.
Here’s a look at the Suns’ opening night victory by the numbers:
The total points scored by the Phoenix Suns in their home opener win over the Lakers. The Suns were 40-14 last season when scoring over 100 points in a game.
The total points allowed by the Phoenix Suns in their win over the Lakers. The Suns were 25-6 when holding their opponent to less than 100 points last season.
The Phoenix Suns shot 68.2 percent in the third quarter, making 15 of 22 shots. The Suns scored 39 points in the quarter, and finished the game shooting 54.9 percent from the field.
The Phoenix Suns shot 50 percent from behind the arc, knocking down 16 of 32 attempts. Their 16 three-pointers as a team was an opening night franchise record, and also surpassed their high of 15 for all of the 2013-14 season. Isaiah Thomas (5-7), Marcus Morris (5-9), and Eric Bledsoe (3-4) led the way from downtown, with Anthony Tolliver going 2 for 2.
The Phoenix Suns biggest lead of the game was 29 points in the third quarter. Phoenix pulled away during the third quarter, outscoring the Lakers 39-23 and taking a commanding 98-73 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Suns never trailed throughout the game, and the score was tied only once at 2-2.
The Lakers shot just 28.6 percent in the first quarter, as they made only 6 of 21 shots and scored a total of 19 points. The Phoenix Suns led 33-19 at the end of the first quarter.
Isaiah Thomas was the leading scorer for the Phoenix Suns with 23 points in his debut with his new team. Thomas shot 9 of 11 from the field, including 5 of 7 from three.
The Phoenix Suns 20-point margin of victory marked the fifth time in franchise history that they won by 20 points or more on opening night. The Suns won at least 54 games in each of the previous season they did so.
Twelve different Phoenix Suns played nine minutes or more in the season opener, with six of them scoring in double digits. The Suns first round draft pick (18th overall), Tyler Ennis, made his NBA debut playing 12:30 in the second half. Ennis scored his first NBA basket and served up three assists in the game.
The Phoenix Suns have now won 7 consecutive home games against the Lakers. This is also their second consecutive season opener they have won, after losing their previous three.
Isaiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns
Isaiah Thomas of the Phoenix Suns scoring over the Lakers Kobe Bryant. The Suns won their season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers 119-99 on 10/29/14.
Phoenix Suns Dancers
The Phoenix Suns Dance Team performing at the Suns home opener. The Suns took on the Los Angeles Lakers on 10/29/14. The Suns Dancers had plenty to celebrate, as the Suns beat the Lakers 119-99.
Phoenix Suns Goran Dragic
Goran Dragic scoring in the Suns season opening win over the Lakers on 10/29/14. Dragic ended up with 18 points and 5 rebounds in the victory.
Eric Bledsoe and Kobe Bryant
Eric Bledsoe and Kobe Bryant battling it out in the Suns season opener against the Lakers on 10/29/14. The Phoenix Suns went on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-99.
Miles Plumlee of the Phoenix Suns
Miles Plumlee of the Suns dunking the ball over the Lakers on 10/29/14. Plumlee got the game started with a dunk, and the Phoenix Suns went on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-99.
Phoenix Suns Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas scored a team high 23 points for the Phoenix Suns in their win over the Los Angeles Lakers on 10/29/14. The final score was 119-99, with the Suns getting the easy victory.
Alex Len of the Phoenix Suns
Alex Len of the Phoenix Suns defending against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Suns home opener on 10/29/14. The Suns ended up beating the Lakers 119-99 for their first win of the season.
Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant questioning a call in the Los Angeles Lakers loss to the Phoenix Suns on 10/29/14. Bryant received his second technical foul in as many games, as the Lakers fall to 0-2 on the season.