It’s Frank Kaminsky’s world and we are all just living in it. Or is that ‘loving in it’.
Phoenix Suns backup center Frank Kaminsky, the seven-year veteran who barely stayed in the league last year, played like an All-Star against the Blazers tonight with a CAREER HIGH 31 points while adding 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a block in 32 minutes of play.
“They were cheering for him and what he did,” Suns coach Monty Williams said of Frank’s teammates in the locker room. “To see him have a night like that, when we needed it...”
Thank all the things you thank for Frank, because Devin Booker only scored 12 points, Chris Paul only had 7 assists, and no one else scored more than 14 points.
The Suns beat the Blazers in a weird one that the Suns will — besides Frank — say they did not play well. They needed Frank. The Suns played this one without Deandre Ayton (knee) and Landry Shamet (foot), while erstwhile starting center JaVale McGee picked up 4 fouls in his first few minutes of play.
“So proud of Frank,” Williams said in an understatement.
Suns win, 119-109.
They are now 7-3 on the season with a 6-game winning streak. The Blazers are now 0-6 on the road this season, dropping to 5-7 overall for the season.
The Phoenix Suns really handled the Portland Trailblazers in the first half, partly because Frank Kaminsky outscored the Blazers three point shooting 18-0. EIGHTEEN TO ZERO.
Frank was on fire in the paint against smaller, switched defenders and made a three as well. This is the best stretch of Frank’s career, at least in Phoenix. And then considers Frank really good year last year, including that near-triple-double in a midseason game off the bench and the Suns 11-2 record when Frank started at center during a midseason stretch.
Frank had 18 points and 5 rebounds in only 14 first half minutes, helping the Suns build a 60-47 lead at halftime. Chris Paul chipped in 10 points and 3 assists, while Devin Booker had 7 points (on 10 shots) and 4 rebounds. Damian Lillard was the only Blazers player in double figures with 12 points.
Suns up 60-47 at half.
The Blazers came out firing in the third quarter — including making their first three-pointer of the game — and got a lot more physical, and the Suns tried hard to withstand the pressure without losing momentum. The Blazers went hard at the rim on nearly every possession, forcing the Suns into a foul situation.
The Blazers cut the Suns 13-point halftime lead to five, 69-64, then once again Frank came to the rescue. FRANK! The Tank scored five straight points to keep the Suns going, and by the end of the third quarter Frank had tied his career high in scoring with 27 points! Lillard did his best to keep the Blazers in the game, pushing his game total to 23 points by the end of the quarter, on 10-19 shooting.
Suns lead 87-77 at the end of three.
Danger zone now. The Suns had a 22-point lead on Monday night against Sacramento and only scored 11 points (9 on their own, 2 given to them on late FTs) the whole fourth. Let’s see how it goes.
Of course, the Blazers made another push and they cut the Suns lead quickly to 4 points on a 14-6 run stretching back to the end of the third (JaVale had all the Suns points!). The Blazers scoring included a pair of threes (after making only two the first three quarters!).
Once again, Frank is saving this team. Devin Booker still only has 9 points, while the only other Suns in double figures are Chris Paul (16 points now) and JaVale McGee (14), who used his length against Larry Nance Jr. to score over top on put-backs.
Suddenly, thanks to Paul, Frank and little Jae Crowder, the Suns lead popped back up to 103-92.
**RED ALERT: The Suns centers have 43 points and 14 rebounds in this game!**
Another minute, another Frank score — extending his career high to 31 now!