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Center of the Sun: Twelve and counting! Suns’ win streak continues!

Your weekly roundup of Suns news, rumors, notes and videos from the prior week plus a preview of the week to come.

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Game Recaps

Phoenix Suns @ Minnesota Timberwolves W (99-96) Full Recap

Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks W (105-98) Full Recap

Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks W (112-104) Full Recap

Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets W (126-97) Full Recap

After recording the 4th longest win streak in franchise history, the Suns sit in 2nd place in the West and the NBA with their 13-3 record. Three seasons ago, at this point they were at 3-13. My how things have changed.

In many ways, it seems as though they haven’t consistently been playing their best ball... which should worry the rest of the league. But the inconsistency should also worry Suns fans a bit as Phoenix prepares to face more of the better teams in the NBA. Coming back in the 4th quarter to get a win will be more difficult in those games and it would be best if the Suns kept themselves out of those situations as much as possible as the season goes on.

But for now, the focus is on continuing the win streak, one game at a time, by whatever means necessary. Five more wins equals the franchise record. That would be great but actually passing it would be something really special but that’s also something that only we fans should dwell upon. For the team, they need to always just focus on the next single game and bringing home a win from that one.


Game Highlights

SUNS at TIMBERWOLVES | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | November 15, 2021

Devin Booker (29 PTS) Drains Clutch Buckets Late in Win Over Timberwolves

MAVERICKS at SUNS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | November 17, 2021

Deandre Ayton Posts 100th Double-Double vs. Mavericks

MAVERICKS at SUNS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | November 19, 2021

Chris Paul (18 PTS, 14 AST) Posts Double-Double in Win Over Mavericks

NUGGETS at SUNS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | November 21, 2021

Cam Johnson Scores a Career-High 22 Points in the Victory over the Denver Nuggets


Key Stats

29.8 points (2nd), 53.0 FG% (1st), 40.8% 3PT% - 4th Quarter Stats

These are the Suns’ 4th quarter stats during their 12-game win streak. They were even better during the first 11 games - 1st in the NBA in PPG (30.2), FG% (54.5%) and 3PT% (44.2%) - but having a comfortable lead in the 4th in the Nuggets game created a bit of a drop since Monty cleared the bench in it. But when the game is still in doubt, the Suns rise to the challenge in the 4th and play some of their best ball.

39.6% FG% (3rd), 28.7% 3PT% (4th) - Opponents

Those figures are what the Suns have been holding their opponents to during the 4th quarter over the last 12 games. For the season those figures are 41.6 % FG% (5th) and 34.2% 3PT% (13th).

Random stats: The Suns are allowing an average of 41.0 points in the paint this season, 3rd best in the NBA. Only 36% of the Suns’ field goal attempts are from three which is the 5th lowest percentage in the NBA.


Quotes of the Week

“He (Bridges) guards the toughest guy every single night, sometimes 94 feet. All-Stars, 1A, 2A guys — Mikal is on them. His value to our team is hard to quantify.” - Monty Williams

“I don’t care if Mikal (Bridges) don’t play another game this season, he better be on that all-defensive team this year.” - Chris Paul

“We’re figuring it out. I’d say some games we’re probably not playing well but we’re playing great defense and trying to let it lead to our offense.” - Cameron Payne


Injury Status Report

Abdel Nader (Knee) Game Time Decision.

Frank Kaminsky (Knee) Expected to be out until at least December 2.

Dario Saric (Knee) Expected to be out until at least April 1.


News & Notes

Suns’ Mikal Bridges making early case for dark-horse DPOY candidacy. Basketball News

Scottie Pippen on Favorite Upcoming NBA Star: “Devin Booker Reminds A Lot Of A Guy Like Kobe Bryant.” Essentially Sports

“I remember we had 1 TV game a year”: Devin Booker remembers the Suns’ 2016-17 struggling days. The Sports Rush

Suns’ Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges’ hilarious feud on taking more shots. Clutch Points

Continuity, Roster Construction Make Phoenix Suns the Early NBA Championship Favorite. Scott Bordow/Compare.bet

Phoenix Suns: Stats to know from team’s 11-game winning streak. The Sporting News

How the Phoenix Suns became the hottest team in the NBA. 12 News

3 biggest reasons behind Suns’ historic winning streak. Clutch Points

The Suns Are Rolling Even As the NBA’s Investigation Looms. The Ringer



This Week in Suns History

On November 23, 1972, Charlie Scott recorded the Phoenix Suns’ first-ever triple-double with 42 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists in a 128-122 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thanksgiving Day.

On November 23, 1994, Wesley Person hit for 19 points to lead 10 double-figure scorers in Phoenix’s 140-109 home win over the LA Clippers. The Suns became the third team in NBA history to have 10 different players score in double figures in the same game. No Suns player shot less than 50% from the field that day and the team FG percentage was 64.7% while also hitting 47.1% of their three-point attempts.

On November 28, 1975 Suns rookie Alvan Adams recorded his first career triple-double (17 pts, 10 rebs, 11 asts plus 4 steals) in a 110-101 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Alvan would record four more triple-doubles during the 1975-76 season on his way to earning Rookie of the Year honors and a trip to the All-Star game,


Suns Trivia

Averaging 2.31 steals per game, Chris Paul is presently 2nd the NBA this season. This presently ranks 3rd on the Suns’ All-Time list for steals per game average for a single season behind Paul Westphal’s 2.56 average in 1976 and Ron Lee’s 2.74 average for 1978. During the 2008-09 season CP3 had his best ever steals per game average of 2.77.

Alvan Adams is one of only 50 NBA players, and the only Suns player, to have played at least 10 seasons (13 for Alvan) in the NBA and spent his entire career with one franchise. He is the franchise leader in games played, minutes played, rebounds, and steals; second in field goals made and attempted; third in assists; and fourth in blocks. He is currently the Suns Vice President for Facility Management for the Footprint Center.


Previewing the Week Ahead

This week the Suns begin a four game road trip with three of four against Eastern Conference teams, including a back-to-back over the weekend in the Big Apple.

The Suns’ first stop on this road trip is in San Antonio. The 4-11 Spurs are off to their worst start since 1996 when Bob Hill was their head coach and was canned after going 3-15. Greg Popovich took over for the rest of the season and... well, I’m sure you’re at least familiar with how they’ve done since then. Those days are gone now and frankly the only thing that worries me about this game is that the Suns will be playing on the 2nd night of a B2B while the Spurs have two days of rest beforehand. I still think that the Suns get the win but it’s not likely going to be a pretty game to watch.

Next the Suns head north and east to face the 9-8 Cleveland Cavaliers. With Collin Sexton out for the season following knee surgery, Ricky Rubio stepped back into the starting lineup and is averaging 17.3 pts, 5.5 asts and 1.7 stls per game since then. While his points and steals are up over what he was doing as a backup, his assists and shooting percentages are down significantly as a starter and the Cavs have gone 2-4 since Sexton was sidelined. That’s not a knock on Ricky though as 3 of those 4 losses were to some of the best teams in the NBA (Golden State, Brooklyn & Washington). The Suns already beat the Cavs in Phoenix about 3 weeks ago and I think they’ll sweep the season series with Cleveland on Wednesday night.

On Friday, Phoenix squares off against the 9-7 Knicks in MSG. The Knicks are pretty much a middle-of-the-road team in the NBA (12th on offense, 17th on defense, 14th net) and play at one of the slowest paces in the league (25th). Their big name offseason acquisition, Kemba Walker, hasn’t been the game-changer they had hoped averaging just 12.2 pts and 2.9 asts per game. I think the Suns come out on top in this one too.

Finally, the Suns head over to the Barclays Center to play Steve Nash’s Brooklyn Nets. While this is the 2nd night game of a B2B, at least the Suns would not have had to fly overnight between games and should be a little more rested on most on the road B2Bs. Against the 12-5 Eastern Conference leading Nets, every little edge helps but it might not be enough as the Nets will be coming off two days of rest. I hate saying it, but I think this one turns out to be a loss for Phoenix.

This week I’m predicting that the Suns will go 3-1.

What’s your prediction?


Important Future Dates

December 1 - Priority order for waiver claims is now based on 2021/22 record, rather than 2020/21 record.

December 15 - Most players signed during offseason can be traded.

December 25 - Phoenix Suns vs Golden State Warriors 3:00 PM AZT (ABC)

January 5 - 10-day contracts may now be signed.

January 10 - All Standard NBA contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

January 15 - All players signed during offseason can be traded. Last day to apply for a disabled player exception.

January 20 - All Two-Way Contracts are guaranteed for the remainder of the season.

February 10 - NBA Trade Deadline (3 p.m. ET).

February 18-23 - NBA All-Star break.

February 20 - NBA All-Star Game.

March 1 - Playoff Eligibility Waiver Deadline.

April 10 - Regular season ends.

April 12-15 - Play-In Tournament.

April 16 - Playoffs begin.

May 17 - NBA Draft Lottery.

June 23 - NBA Draft.