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Recap: Phoenix Suns lose to Pacers 116-101 after lackluster performance by the starters

The Suns bench kept the final score from being much worse than it could have been.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Suns let this one get away from them early. Like the last game between these two teams, the Suns were ice cold hitting only 41.7% of their field goal attempts and 25.7% from three. Indiana shot 56.2% from the field and 37.5% from three but their percentages went down in the fourth quarter after they sat all of their starters. Sadly, the Suns’ percentages went up after they sat theirs.

Josh Jackson was the high scorer for the Suns with 20. Devin Booker and Troy Daniels had 19 apiece and Greg Monroe had 16 points and 17 rebounds. Thaddeus Young led the Pacers with 22, Victor Oladipo had 21 and Domantas Sabonis had 19.

The Suns had 16 turnovers, most of which led to easy buckets by the Pacers. The Suns’ starters seemed out of sync and played poorly tonight. Their bench out scored them 65 to 36.

This wasn’t a pleasant game to watch. My hat’s off to those who stuck it out to the end.

1st Quarter

Suns win the tip but are cold early hitting 2 of 6 in the first four minutes. The Pacers are controlling the pace (no pun intended) and lead 7-4 at 8:08. The good news is that the Suns have committed only one turnover so far.

I spoke too soon. Another turnover by the Suns, the Pacers score and now lead 12-6 at 6:57. Monroe in for Chandler after a Suns timeout. Booker now has 6 points and cuts the Pacers’ lead to 2.

Suns are shooting 43.8% from the field, Pacers hitting 58.3%. Indy is now up 20-14 at the 3:14 mark. The pace of this game seems very slow for a Suns game. The Pacers are doing a good job defensively by making the Suns use up the shot clock before they can get a good look. Suns have yet to hit a three.

Indiana is now up 29-16 with one minute to go in the first.

The Suns close the quarter with all the starters except Booker on the bench and down 32-18.

Zero threes for the Suns but 6 turnovers and 8 personal fouls. Indiana had 2 threes, 1 turnover and 4 PFs.

2nd Quarter

Daniels now in for Booker and hits the Suns’ first three. They have made up a little of the deficit and trail 35-25 at 9:15.

The second unit seems to be pushing the pace a bit more but it isn’t helping as the Pacers take control and lead 43-28 at 6:44. Timeout Suns. The Pacers are again red hot hitting 60.7% from the field and 50% from three. The Suns are at 43.3% and 12.5% from three.

Booker is back in at the point. The Suns have made a little 8-3 run and are now down by 10. That didn’t last long as the Pacers answer with two quick threes and are up 52-36 at 3:20. At least they’ve cut their turnovers down to 2 in this quarter.

Bad shooting and weak defense by the Suns - and another 2 quick turnovers - give the Pacers a 63-44 lead at the halftime break.

At the Half

Devin Booker leads the Suns with 13 points but he went 0-2 from three. Troy Daniels has 8 point and was the only Sun to hit a three in the first half (2-4). Victor Oladipo leads the Pacers with 15 and Thaddeus Young has 14.

The Pacers shot 61% from the field and 50% from three (6-12). The Suns only hit 40.5% of their shots and were a terrible 15.4% from three (2-13). Turnovers have once again hurt the Suns as they had 10 vs 6 for Indiana. Most of the Suns turnovers led to scores (15 points) - sometimes easy scores - for the Pacers.

Rebounds are virtually equal with the Suns getting 19 and the Pacers 17.

3rd Quarter

Jay Triano calls a quick timeout at 10:06 after the Pacers start the 3rd with an 8-0 run. The Pacers now lead 71-44. They make it 10-0 before Booker gets to the line to score 2 free throws.

More turnovers and sloppy play. Pacers now up 79-46 forcing Triano to call another quick timeout at 8:26. The Suns’ FG% is now at 37.0%.

Triano sat the entire 1st team and put in the bench. They are playing with some energy but it isn’t helping much. Pacers now lead 90-52 at 4:15. I think this game is already pretty much over.

The quarter ends with the Suns trailing 99-65.

4th Quarter

Booker, Warren and Bender back in with Monroe and Canaan. Suns can’t seem to buy a bucket while the Pacers still can’t seem to miss.

Alec Peters sighting!

The Suns actually made the Pacers bring back some of their starters with about 3:00 left to play as the Suns cut their lead to 16.

Pacers win 116-101.