The Thunder, a team with nothing to lose, showed commotion at times but the Suns were just too much.
It was mandatory to keep this Thunder team at bay for most of the game heading into the fourth quarter. The last thing this Suns team wanted was to mess with a Thunder team who will not back down against a superior team in the Suns.
Devin Booker drained 32 points on only 20 shots, while Chris Paul had 17 points on 8-8 shooting, plus 12 assists and 3 steals. Those two made SURE the Thunder didn’t get this one close.
Keep in mind this Thunder lineup just beat the Toronto Raptors the other night. Youngest starting lineup in league history to win a game.
Suns led 43-13 after one quarter (team record 30 point lead), and rolled at the end too.
And again, for the second straight game, Chris Paul hits Deandre Ayton for the alley-oop right after the Suns win the tip!
You could tell to start the game, that the Thunder were going to fun to watch with their energy and inexperience. Their inexperience put themselves in tough spots around the rim early and their foot on the out-of-bounds line a couple times.
Jea Crowder continued to start hot again for the Suns adding his six points going 2-3 from three to the Suns 22-5 lead. The Suns who were normally youngest team in games in the previous years clearly looked like the older brother to the thunder holding them in a head lock.
The Thunder center Moses Brown began his game with a lot of energy, like the rest of the Thunder line-up. It is incredibly exciting for these young players to play against the high-seeded Suns to see where they match up and how far they need to go to make this game interesting... that is a very long way from the looks of the first quarter.
Dario Saric started his night draining a three with a very slow rotation on defense from the Thunder unable to find him. You could see the Thunder team looking a little hesitant after the 35-9 start to the game for the Suns. Then, Booker with a HUGE throw-down in traffic lead to a much needed Thunder timeout.
Ty Jerome into the game before the end of the first quarter continued where he left off last time I was able to watch him- full court pressed. This time, Suns Jevon Carter was the defender.
End of the first, the Suns led 43-13. 16 points from Book.
A guy that I love to watch and also talk about is Alekdej Pokusevski (Poku)!
Poku minutes are very fun to watch. He wants the ball every possession and will do a lot with the ball. Some good things and some bad things.
The pick-and-roll with Saric and Paul starts the second quarter. It is something that both players are comfortable doing and confident in. Frist shot made was by Saric and the next two were made by Paul.
And count on the bench with Carter to keep the separation in the second quarter. Two steals and four points. With a combo of a steal and a dunk, he puts the Suns up 56-24 in the with 7:03 left to go in the second quarter.
The Suns finished the first half strong with a 73-50 lead. The face of Booker says it all- stay focused and finish this team out.
Notable stats at the half
Booker: 20 points, Paul: 12 points, 7 assists, Bridges: 10 points 3 blocks, Poku: 12 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds
I was thinking one thing to start the second half, can we see some Jalen Smith minutes? Please?
The Suns did start the third quarter a little slow and a little miscues. The only one on offense to keep the Suns awake was Bridges. Mid-range game and around the rim is where he was living in the third giving him 17 points with 7:30 left in the third.
But Poku on the other side was leading a charge for the Thunder cutting the Suns lead to 18 before a timeout.
A notch went up on defense for the Suns leading to fast break points and a little bit more hustle to keep the lead above 20.
The remainder of the third quarter was a practice in making things to a look as perfect as they can. Ayton began to show signs of life on the offensive end. The rest of the Suns were engaged, it was up to Ayton to defeat the beating in the third.
Cam Johnson helped carry the lead to 27 with a pull up jump shot (I love to see it) and a long three. Big minutes tonight for Johnson to get his mind right on the court.
103-76 to start the fourth quarter, and this is when we start the bench watch. Who grabbed big minutes and did a starter have to re-enter the game. But we had to wait until Paul leaves the game. It must have been his request to stay in the game.
An 11-0 Suns run ends the night for Paul with the Suns now up 110-76 and the biggest lead of the game... scratch that, Paul remained in the game. I must of been padding the stats for the NBA MVP race.
Paul ended the game with nine minutes left.
Smith entered the game with seven minutes to play. He was able to foul and the body language is not very good. The goal is to belong on this team for Smith. He eventually will figure it out but then a offensive foul makes that a quick two. And a bricked shot. We now move on to Ty-Shon Alexander who entered the game with five minutes left.
Alexander was able to get to the free throw line early and made 1-2. You could hear the bench applaud the first point made as a Sun.
Then a step-back three for the young man!
TY-SHON ALEXANDER TIME— Suns Geek On YouTube (@sunsgeek) April 3, 2021
Watching the time tick down to 0:00, the Suns finished off the Thunder 140-103.