Since beating Dallas on Jan. 31, the Suns are 0-for-February and have been outscored by 181 points in eight defeats. They have lost by 32, 48, and 26 points in that run, and their 48-point loss to San Antonio on Feb. 7 tied a franchise-worst set against Portland on opening night.
“Inexcusable,” interim coach Jay Triano said of the listless start against the Clippers.
“We knew that they’re an ‘iso’ team and they were going to put it down and drive it right at us. They did and we couldn’t keep anyone in front of us.
The Kings were unable to get rolling, and Lehtonen thwarted their late attempts to tie it.
“In the second period, we took the game over,” Lehtonen said. “We were the team that seemed to have more legs and more will at the end there.”
Quick made several outstanding stops and finished with 26 saves. But with Dallas controlling the puck after the first period, Los Angeles could never find any offensive rhythm.
With New York (24-36) out of playoff contention and Kristaps Porzingis sidelined following ACL surgery, the club will use its final 23 games to evaluate younger players.
Hornacek said this week that younger players such as Mudiay, first-round pick Frank Ntilikina and Trey Burke will play more often over the remainder of the season.
Burke led the Knicks with 26 points on 12-for-22 shooting against the Magic. He also handed out six assists in 30 minutes off of the bench as New York snapped an eight-game losing streak. Ntilikina played 30 minutes and helped the Knicks slow Orlando down on defense in the second half.
Mudiay, who was acquired via trade earlier this month, said Wednesday that he’d value the chance to start after falling out of the Denver Nuggets’ starting lineup this season.
“There’s risk in playing, risk in not playing in terms of tradeability,” Blashill said of Green. “But there might be teams that want to see him, too.”