The Suns led the game going in to the half behind a very strong showing from Devin Booker (30 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists), who scored 19 points in the first half, and Mike James (24 points, 5 assists, 4 steals), with 15 points.
The team fell behind in the second half, before mounting a 20-4 scoring run at one point in the 4th quarter. Led by T.J. Warren (20 points, 11 rebounds), who came alive in the second half, the Suns managed to hold off a late attempt at a comeback by the Nets. Warren and Dragan Bender (10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks) had back-to-back strong defensive possessions to seal the game.
For the Nets, the story continues to be who can carry a consistent offensive load beyond D’Angelo Russell (33 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists). Tonight, he was helped a bit by Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (21 points, 7 rebounds), but overall the team struggled if Russell was not the one scoring the ball.
Key Stats of the Night
66:44 - The Suns +22 advantage on the boards was a major reason for their victory, and much of the credit for that has to go to Warren (4 offensive boards), Tyson Chandler (2 points, 13 rebounds) and Alex Len (6 points, 15 rebounds). Perhaps most impressively, the Suns were able to absolutely smother one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the league, allowing the Nets just 7 offensive boards for the night.
18:7 - To go along with their major advantage in the rebounding differential, the Suns faced a major disadvantage in turnover differential. The team managed to force just 7 Brooklyn turnovers, while giving the ball up 18 times themselves. That being said, there was some relative growth here for the Suns, who were two dumb, late turnovers away from their lowest number of turnovers in a game to date.
45.5% - The Suns were absolutely scorching from behind the arc tonight, getting 30 points from the 3 point area on just 22 shots. In contrast, the Nets shot just 29%, on 31 shots.
4-14 - Josh Jackson’s shooting line leaves something to be desired. Jackson struggled from the field for his third straight game, and it looks like he is still trying to figure out his NBA niche to some degree. It will be interesting to see if Jay Triano attempts to get Jackson to control himself more on the offensive end and limit his shots to better, less contested attempts going forward.
Next Game: Phoenix Suns (3-4) at Washington Wizards (4-2)
When: 4 pm (Phoenix time)
TV: Fox Sports AZ
Radio: ESPN 620AM