The Suns started out slow in the first quarter and were down 32-25. They came alive in the second quarter though and never looked back on their way to a much needed and impressive 121-98 win with Kelly Oubre Jr. sidelined by injury.
Despite getting into foul trouble late, Devin Booker led the Suns with 29 points. Deandre Ayton looked like the player everyone wants him to be every night with an impressive double-double with 26 points, 21 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks. New dad Ricky Rubio also stepped up big with a near triple-double with 25 points, 13 assists, 8 rebounds and 4 steals.
The Suns out rebounded the Knicks 53 to 40 and wound up hitting 40% of their three pointers after shooting only 20% from three in the 1st quarter.
Julius Randle led the Knicks in scoring with 26 and Bobby Portis got 10 rebounds off the bench.
Other than the first quarter, the Suns looked pretty damn good tonight.
On to Boston for their final game in this road trip.
Suns win the tip but fail to score. Both teams trade misses for a while until Booker finally gets to the line and hits 1 of 2. That took the lid off the baskets as the teams started trading scores. Knicks up 6-5.
Marcus Morris gets away with a shove on Saric after a loose ball scramble. Now Booker has two early fouls with 8 minutes to go and the Knicks leading 13-9.
Several fouls called on both teams early but several were ignored too. Ayton gets fouled and will go to the line after a timeout. 6:41 left to play with the Knicks up 15-11. He hits both but Saric fouls Morris on a three on the other end. He hits all three. Knicks up 18-13.
Baynes in for Saric. the twin towers are in for the Suns. Randle gets an and-one and the Knicks are up 21-13.
The Knicks’ lead is up to 26-18 at the 4:26 mark. The Suns’ offense just has no spark to it so far.
Some good defensive stops and suddenly the score is 26-23 with the Knicks holding the lead.
The Suns can’t buy a bucket now and suddenly the Knicks are up 32-25 as the quarter ends.
Booker and Ayton lead the Suns with 8 points each. The Suns are shooting only 37.5% from the field and 20% from three. Randle leads the Knicks with 10 points.
Suns had 6 turnovers to just 2 for the Knicks.
Bridges gets his first points and the Suns go on a mini run to cut the Knicks lead to 35-32. 9:20 to go in the half.
The Suns are staying in it but can’t close the score. 39-36 Knicks lead. Neither team is playing especially sharp basketball at the moment. Suns shooting has improved a little this quarter though.
Nice couple of possessions and the Suns go up 43-42 after a Booker steal! Suns seem to be finally getting into this game and they take a 47-44 lead with 5 minutes left in the half.
New dad Ricky Rubio is taking over and now leads the Suns with 14 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.
Nine turnovers for the Suns now but they are leading 55-44. Booker picks up his 3rd foul as the Knicks cut the Suns’ lead down to 55-47. Some sloppy play and another turnover by the Suns handed the Knicks a 6-0 run. The Suns now lead 55-52 with 47 seconds to play.
Bridges hits a three and the half ends with the Suns end the half up 58-52!
At the Half
Ayton and Rubio lead the Suns with 14 point each. Booker has 12. Ayton also already has a double-double with 12 rebounds to go with his 14 points. Randle leads the Knicks with 12 points.
The Suns’ shooting has improved but is still sub-par at 47.1% from the field and 29.4% from three. The Knicks are hitting 40.8% from the field and 40.0% from three.
The Suns are winning the rebounding battle with 33 to the Knicks’ 24 but the Knicks’ bench has outscored the Suns bench 22-7.
The Suns have 11 turnovers to 8 for NY.
Booker’s 3 fouls in the first half could come back to haunt the Suns later on.
Both teams trade baskets early but the Suns are now up 65-58. A big Ayton jam and the Suns are up 67-58! The Knicks call a quick timeout with 10:02 left in the quarter.
19 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds for Rubio so far.
Suns are fouling too much but are still leading 71-63... now 73-63 after another Ayton jam! Deandre now has 18 points.
Suns are playing well now on both ends and lead 79-66 after a Saric score. Suns shooting percentage is now above 50%. Suns up 82-69 after a Saric three.
Booker gets his 4th foul on an offensive foul call and heads to the bench. Mostly bench players in for the Suns now and they need get a few scores to keep the Knicks at bay. 84-73 Suns lead with 2:47 left to go in the 3rd.
Cam Johnson hits a trey to keep the Suns’ lead at 12. The Knicks are now in the bonus as Morris goes to the line and hits 2. 87-77 Suns lead.
The 3rd quarter ends with the Suns up 90-79.
Baynes gets his first score of the game to start the quarter. The Knicks score on the other end though. A little sloppy play now for both teams but the Suns have stretched their lead to 97-81 as the Knicks call timeout with 9:43 left in the game.
The Suns bench has picked it up and they have 20 points combined now. The Knicks’ bench has 28. The Suns’ three point percentage is up to 38.5%. They’re out shooting and out rebounding the Knicks.
Booker comes back in with 8:22 to go. Suns have all their starters back in now.
Ayton with another jam, Knicks miss a trey and Booker shows them how it’s done on the other end! Suns up 102-83.
Booker gets slapped with his 5th foul and heads back to the bench. Cam Johnson replaces him.
Rubio get his 25th point an the Suns are up 106-88.
Ayton hits 2 free throws and the Suns go ahead by 20 points.
The Knicks aren’t giving up but they have a hard row to hoe with just 4:41 left to play and down 20.
Booker returns. Gets to the line and makes both. He now has 27 and the Suns are up 112-90.
Ayton now has 20 rebounds! And 21!
Wow! What an ally-oop pass to Ayton by Rubio! He now has 26 points and 21 rebounds
The Suns are clearing the bench.
This game is over.
Suns win 121-98!