The Phoenix Suns broke a 4-game losing streak with a blowout of the Houston Rockets. Yeah, just like you expected!
Kelly Oubre Jr. (39 points) and Devin Booker (33 in three quarters) led the Suns to their biggest win of the season, a 36-point blowout of the Houston Rockets, 127-91.
Previously, the Suns had won by 29 in the home opener, and by 29 on the road in Dallas Mavericks just over a week ago. In between the Dallas win and tonight, the Suns had lost four straight.
Remember how the Suns looked so good against the Celtics, and then against Dallas? Well it was NICE to see that again, AT HOME, against the Rockets on Friday night. The Suns took it to the Rockets from the jump, leading 46-26 after one quarter and then by 24 at the end of three quarters. By the fourth, it was mop-up time.
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Devin Booker were on fire all night long, and the rest of the team was right there with them. Oubre hit SEVEN threes (career high) for 39 huge points (career high), the last one putting the Suns up by 33 with 6:53 left.
Booker finished with 33 points in three quarters of play. Deandre Ayton had 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks (4 fouls) in 24 minutes.
From the bench: Props to Cheick Diallo for good minutes (14/8/3) when Ayton collected fouls, and for Jevon Carter as well (8/7/2/1). Cameron Johnson was rusty, and Elie Okobo was there too.
Great way to break the losing streak, and let the city of Phoenix know you mean business coming out of that trade deadline. This is a real great sign of the team’s resolve and commitment.
Suns — Cameron Johnson is back! Everyone else still out: Ty Jerome, Tyler Johnson, Frank Kaminsky, Dario Saric, Aron Baynes all OUT.
Rockets — Russell Westbrook is out (back to back, rest).
The Suns went right in to Deandre Ayton four times. He passed out to an open Rubio (who didn’t take the shot), got a dunk, made a pocket pass to Oubre (score), then made a turnover (double team on the catch).
The Rockets, meanwhile, took 6 threes in their first 8 shots (made three).
Then the Suns went on a tear from 3-point land, making 8 of their first 10 threes. All in the first 10 minutes.
To put this in context, the Suns have made 8 or fewer threes in 12 whole games this year, and they’ve already matched that in 10 minutes of play.
All tolled, the Suns scored 46 points in the first quarter — the most they’ve scored in a first quarter all year since scoring 43 against Golden State on October 30. And its one of the highest scoring quarters of the year, right behind the 48 they poured on Dallas just over a week ago.
Devin Booker had 18 in the first quarter alone. On 8 shots.
Suns up 46-26 after one. I’ll comfortably call that the third best quarter of the whole year. And the best one at home.
But then the Suns forgot to take threes once the second unit stepped in, and the Rockets began to swing momentum back their way. Pretty soon, it was a ragtag game with the Rockets running out on misses, and James Harden making rock-em-to-sleep threes.
The Rockets had pulled to 57-50 with 4:10 left in the quarter on a 20-7 run that forced Monty to call a timeout. Part of the problem is the Suns trying to force the ball in to Ayton, who had to catch it with two defenders on him. Note: the Suns only even attempted three threes in this span.
Devin Booker did his best to offset the James Harden tsunami, and the two players entered halftime basically tied. Harden with 25/4/2, Booker with 24/2/7. Kelly Oubre Jr. had 17, while Deandre Ayton and Cheick Diallo used their size to collect a 10/4/3/4 line.
Suns up 65-55 at the half.
The Suns came right back out in the second half with all the passion of the first, and quickly took back a 21-point lead. Their energy and shot-making just took the Rockets all the way out of their game.
It also helped that Russell Westbrook was resting (always does, on a back-to-back) and Eric Gordon went out with a lower body injury of some kind in the first half.
Nobody on the Rockets could make a three, and by the end of three the Suns were up 24 points, 97-73, as Kelly Oubre Jr. drained yet another buzzer beater.
After three, Booker led the Suns with 33 points on 18 shots, while Oubre had 28 points on 15 shots. EFFICIENT.