The San Antonio Spurs are in the midst of a season-long tanking effort that continues to worsen as it goes on. After losing to the Phoenix Suns 133-95 on Sunday, the Spurs have fallen to 6-18 on the season despite getting off to a 5-2 start after seven games.
It wasn't until a 25-point margin outscored the Spurs in the second quarter that things got out of hand, but San Antonio was outscored in each period within the game. The Suns led by as many as 44 points — eliminating any chance for the Spurs to mount a comeback.
There wasn't much for possible bright spots to be turned to for the Spurs. It was a poor shooting performance for the Spurs as they finished 6-31 (19.4 percent) from the perimeter and made 13 fewer made 3s. San Antonio didn't stand a chance as a result.
While Keldon Johnson has continued to struggle to convert from beyond the arc, he finished with 27 points with 10 of his 11 made field goals coming from inside the 3-point line. None of the Spurs' other players managed to reach the 15-point threshold with Devin Vassell (14 points) coming closest.
Even without Chris Paul available to play, the Suns overwhelmed the Spurs in starpower. Deander Ayton set the tone with 25 points and 10 rebounds with Devin Booker (20) and Mikal Bridges (20) all reaching the 20-point threshold despite playing well below 30 minutes.
This latest loss for the Spurs highlights the initial expectation for this season: tanking. They are doing what they can to land Victor Wembenyama and they're doing a poor job of hiding it at this stage.
The Spurs will have a chance to end their lengthy losing streak when they take on the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Spurs? Click Here.
Follow Inside the Spurs on Twitter.
Follow Inside the Spurs on Facebook.