PHOENIX – Apparently Mike Conley has been keeping on his astrology news, because after the Timberwolves lost to the Suns 97-87 on Friday night, Conley had a question.

"I think it was Mercury retrograde. Is that a real thing?" Conley said. "It felt like it tonight."

That phenomenon, when Mercury appears to be moving backwards in the sky, is often associated with time of confusion or frustration. That applied to the Wolves offense, which had one of its ugliest performances of the season.

The Wolves trailed 15-0 at the start and had eight turnovers in the first quarter. Then when they did get good looks, especially around the basket, the rims seemed like they had hermetic seals on them. The Wolves shot just 33-for-85 (39%) on the night and were a horrid 13-for-30 in the restricted area.

"Just terrible offense," coach Chris Finch said. "Really broke down in every way. Started with the first play of the game, had a transition opportunity. We turned it over. … Then when we did have opportunities to finish at the rim, we didn't finish strong. Finishing let us down. It was a complete breakdown offensively."

Friday was tied for the Wolves' second-worst shooting night of the season percentage-wise, and the score only appeared as close as it did because the Wolves outscored the Suns by 12 after Finch pulled his rotation players down 22 and just over four minutes remaining.

"I just think with myself, all of us, we were a little too tentative," center Rudy Gobert said. " We were a little bit in the rush, weren't making the right play most of the time, especially in the first half. Second half, we had more opportunities. You got to give them credit also defensively, but I think for us, I think a lot of things were there."

BOXSCORE: Phoenix 97, Wolves 87

NBA standings

Back in November, the Suns trounced the Wolves in Phoenix, but the Wolves had a built-in excuse. They had just played the Warriors the previous night in San Francisco in an emotional game that featured Draymond Green putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold.

The teams didn't meet again this season until Friday night, and this time the Wolves had no such schedule-excuse.

The Suns could end up being a first-round playoff opponent for the Wolves, and maybe Phoenix has put some doubt in their minds as to how a potential postseason matchup would look. The Suns join the Pelicans, another potential first-round opponent, as the only teams to defeat the Wolves twice by double digits. But Conley, who was 1-for-6 for five points, said the playoffs could change everything.

"I've been in seasons where we beat teams, swept teams, won convincingly and you'd lose in the playoffs just because playoff matchups change," Conley said. "People throw different things out there. We figure something or they figure something out. Those things matter. We can't really be thinking about it as far as being in a situation we want to avoid."

The Wolves and Suns will meet in the regular-season finale at Target Center on April 14.

Grayson Allen led Phoenix with 23 points while Kevin Durant had 22.

Anthony Edwards led the Wolves with 17 points on 6-for-19 shooting. It was an especially rough night for Naz Reid, who went 3-for-13 for eight points with five turnovers. Nickeil Alexander-Walker was the only other Wolves player to hit double figures with 13.

In a summation of the kind of night it was for the Wolves, Gobert missed an easy dunk attempt off a lob early in the third quarter, then Bradley Beal came down the other end and hit a three. Once the Wolves fell behind 10-0 early in the game, they never got within single digits again.

The Wolves played decent defense against the Suns, which was a switch from the team's previous matchup, when the Suns posted 133 on them.

"We've been playing really good offense," Finch said. "They did a good job of guarding us, but I thought we left money on the table with a lot of decisions we made out there."