Shooting struggles and turnovers cost the Suns a win as they fall to the Pelicans 101-123.
Unable to get anything going offensively, the Suns played to the Pelicans strengths in slowing the ball down.
Out hustled or out muscled. However you want to put it, this was a beating and maybe the worst of the season. This may be the way the season goes as the Suns play inconsistent and unable to adjust at half-time.
Scary start to the game after the Pelicans jump out to a quick 12-3 lead within the first three minutes of the game. How did they do it? Zion Williamson became a sneaky snake, working his way around Ayton to grab put back boards totaling for five offensive rebound. Ayton will need help with the Suns putting bodies on their men.
Ayton can hold off one of Adams or Zion but not both. Monty, what are we doing here...— Sam Cooper (@scooperhoops) February 4, 2021
After a quick break for Zion, he is back with two minutes left in the 1st quarter. Playing like a bowling ball down low, Frank Kaminski and Jae Crowder had no chance, but the Suns keep the game close trailing 25-28.
Zion ends the 1st quarter with 4-OREB, 15 PTS. It is going to be a problem.
On the Suns side of things, Devin Booker jumped out to a good start with 6 points and heading to the line twice. Something you really like to see.
Suns: Use Damion Jones to put a hard foul on Zion. There needs to be consequence to hanging in the lane— John Voita (@DarthVoita) February 4, 2021
Hanging in there at the half, the Suns still trail 46-48.
Player of the first-half: Deandre Ayton
4-6 FG, 9 PTS, 8 REB, 3 OREB (needs help on the glass)
Issues in the paint might continue into the second half but adjustments need to be made. Ayton needs to mirror Steven Adams when in the game. Kaminski continues to struggle. And of course the 3-point shot is not falling yet for the Suns... even the wide open looks. 4-21 from downtown but the Pelicans are only shooting 3-14.
Stop bricking threes!!!! pic.twitter.com/ODRE1UXn5Q— Veronica Philpot (@suns_tutu_fan) February 4, 2021
Booker is the only Suns that decides to show up after halftime, getting to the paint and continuing his success from mid-range.
The Pelicans begin to pull away at the 6-minute mark 69-59 as the Suns continue to stay stale from 3 and lack movement on the offensive end. Zion and Brandon Ingram are doing what they want and the lack of urgency to grab the defensive rebound is still the same story.
Pulling out to even a larger lead, the Pelicans lead 88-74 going into the 4th quarter.
Booker is representing the Suns the best way he can by scoring 13 of the Suns 28 points in the 3rd quarter. Still, the offense is really stagnant.
Nothing is getting better for the Suns as the Pelicans defense tightens and massive pressure added to an already struggling Suns offense. Turnovers and the struggle to shoot the 3 keeps the lead big for the Pelicans.
One last leap towards the lead for the Suns... can they make it close? With 8:37 left to go in the game, Pelicans lead 95-80.
No. The Pelicans are unable to miss a 3-pointer and the lead blooms to 22. At least Jalen Smith received some great minutes.
Player of the game: No One