It was the Devin Booker bounce back game, leading the Suns to a promising victory. Tagging behind was Deandre Ayton who dominated the paint early and often. Both players became the only offense at most parts of the game.
Missing the extra shooter off the bench in Cameron Johnson started to show tonight, but the win is all that matters for now.
Devin Booker started hot for the Suns hitting the first few shots for the Suns from three. He was the one player I noted to have the bounce back game against the Pacers.
Deandre Ayton, another player that was needed to get back on track, was looking to finesse his way around the rim. Nothing unusual about that, but the lanes were wide open and surrendered by small defenders. The look to finish at the rim like Jalen Smith came short as a couple pull downs and lay-in attempts started at 2-5 from the field. The aggressiveness looked as if it was creeping back into his game.
The first quarter was close and with Lance Stevenson entering the game for the Pacers, the crowd began to get into it. He is a fan favorite and can keep any fan interested, even when shooting the three and bricking both attempts.
Ayton was able to knock down his own three to go along with Booker as the only players to score a point for the Suns in the first quarter with 2:45 left. Ayton with 11 and Booker with 8.
Stevenson was able to start the second quarter nailing his first three to keep the Pacers close 23-22 but still trailing by one.
Both the Pacers and Suns started the second a little sloppy but the Suns had the upper hand in grabbing a few more steals off of deflections, leading to points. There was a pause at 28 points for the Suns. Luckily the Pacers couldn’t find the rim either. This led to the thought of the Suns starters still cant find a rhythm. Only Ayton, who had 17 of the first 30 points for the Suns seemed to be alive, along with Booker who had 10.
We could use Cam Johnson right about now— Cody Hunt (@co_dhunt) January 15, 2022
I was thinking the same thing!
Even with Booker back in the game the Suns could not go on any type of run. The Pacers broke even at 38.
Lose balls seemed to lead the team in assists. The way to move the ball for the Suns was to just throw it somewhere and hope it deflects to a teammate.
Heading into the half, the Suns finished on an 8-0 run, leading 56-48.
Just like he started the game, Booker started the third quarter hitting 11 straight points!
With Booker able to help the Suns lift off a bit, the Pacers held up their end of the bargain with some casual turnovers. The Suns looked to pull away and take a 9-point lead 59-50.
Both teams were up to 60% shooting in the third leading to a more exciting quarter. After a messy start the pace picked up as Ayton started to throw his body around more in the paint, trying to fend off Sabonis. The story at that point was Ayton owning the paint.
And Just like that, the Pacers tied the game again at 66. And just like that, the Pacers take a three point lead after a Justin Holliday three. That was three more points than Jae Crowder, Chris Paul, and Mikal Bridges combined with two minutes left in the third quarter.
Booker ended the third with a buzzer beater for his 34th point of the game.
Cameron Payne was having himself a game off the bench with 11 points after draining a three to give the Suns a 86-76 lead. It seemed like the Suns were going to kick it into gear until Booker was able to come back into the game.
Landry Shamet got into the mix as well, scoring six straight point to cap off a 19-2 scoring run. The Pacers kept shooting the three even when they were not falling.
Once Shamet starts hitting shots, you know things are going well for the Suns. Up by 18 they went and with Chris Paul making his jump shots it looked like the Suns had the Pacers dead in the water.
The Pacers last chance at a run was end by a Crowder three and the Suns pulled away to take the 112-94 victory.