Game 2 of our Sunday doubleheader was another Suns game. We weren’t sure initially whether we wanted to go to two Suns games- they weren’t very good and we figured we could find something else to do with our time there. But we had such a great time on Thursday that we decided to do it. This time, Joel’s friend Riley joined us, and they were playing the Rockets, who had MVP candidate James Harden balling out for them. We were excited for what we thought would be another rousing game!
We got a little bit cheaper seats for this game since we decided pretty late whether we were going or not, but they weren’t terrible. I actually purchased them directly through the Suns, and it was one of their promotional ticket packages where you got free food (Hardees) at the game with your tickets. We were farther away from the court and on the baseline, but they were by no means nosebleeds.
Unfortunately, James Harden didn’t suit up to play, so we were already a little bummed going into it. Also, the crowd wasn’t nearly as large or engaged as they’d been on Thursday- apparently the big basketball fans had gotten their fix that night and decided not to come back for this game. Or maybe they just weren’t as excited for the Patrick Beverley vs Tyler Ulis matchup. Either way, the game was fairly dull considering both teams making it past the 110 mark for points. Ulis balled out, as did Beverley, Sam Dekker broke his wrist, and we saw Aaron Rodgers courtside sitting next to not Olivia Munn, so I knew in that moment they were done. Booker chipped in 27, and there were again quite a few high flying offensive plays that were exciting. However, after seeing two NBA games in a row where the home team doesn’t even attempt to play defense, I was a little over it. Giving up 123 points to a Houston Rockets team without James Harden (or really anyone else noteworthy) just shows you that it’s not like teams need great or special efforts to put up those kinds of points against the Suns. Hopefully they eventually figure it out, because they have some truly special offensive players.
The boys cashed in on their free food, which was, well, Hardees. Low expectations, but at least they didn’t have to pay for it! I contemplated getting some sushi, but ended up passing- I love sushi, but wasn’t particularly confident about the quality I’d get at a basketball arena in the desert. Maybe my loss.
They had a lot of other options though. This arena reminded me quite a bit of both American Airlines in Dallas and the Pepsi Center in Denver in regards to both set up and food they had to offer. I didn’t end up getting anything and instead just continued to think about the sushi and what might have been.
Out in front of the arena, where you enter the gates, there’s this circular courtyard type area where people can set up stands, activities, etc. before the game. It’s not as big as a lot of the stadiums we’ve been to, but it’s still pretty nice and the front of the stadium is cool and different, which I liked. There were basketball shooting stations for kids and after the game, people were handing out this weird pretzel chex mix type stuff that we’d never heard of. Naturally, Joel grabbed about 5 of them, and they actually weren’t bad. Not good enough that I’m going to seek out where I can buy them, but not bad!
Also in the general area are lots of different spots for more “normal” stuff. We stopped by CVS when we first got there to get me some snack food and Joel spent a couple of mornings at the Starbucks working on homework for his online Masters classes. We saw tons of alums of the colleges rolling around those areas, and gave us just another reason why staying so close to the stadiums and the action was so cool.
Just a couple of sports fans touring the world, one stadium at a time.