The Phoenix Suns caught a break when it was learned Indiana Pacers star Paul George would miss this game with a sore left foot. They caught another break when George’s fill-in, C.J. Miles, was lost in the 1st quarter to a knee injury. Indiana’s losses helped balance out those for Phoenix, who were already without Tyson Chandler and lost T.J. Warren to illness early in the game.
Of those who were left, it turned out to be the Phoenix bench that turned the tide, outscoring the Pacers’ reserves 78-35 to lead the Suns to a 116-96 victory, their fourth of the season.
Phoenix handed the Pacers just their second home loss of the season by turning to a few unlikely heroes. Alan Williams, who stepped in as the backup center, notched career highs for points (15) and rebounds (15). Tyler Ulis, getting some burn with Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight in some foul trouble, entered late in the 3rd quarter and never exited, scoring a career-high 10 points. Overall, the bench turned a tenuous 89-82 lead entering the 4th quarter into a 20-point blowout.
Also off the bench, Brandon Knight led all Suns with 17 points, with 12 of them coming in the 3rd quarter. Jared Dudley pitched in 16 points, Leandro Barbosa added 13 points, and P.J. Tucker had 10 rebounds.
The starters were paced by Alex Len, who had his third double-double of the season (10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Devin Booker (13 points).
The Pacers, who were dressed tonight as extras from a 1950s-era phys ed video on calisthenics, got 22 points from Myles Turner and 21 points from Jeff Teague.