Orlando had no answer early for the lethal duo of Cam Payne and Deandre Ayton. The two combined for the Suns’ first 12 points, penetrating into the paint on nearly each scoring possession. Suns, unfortunately, had no answer for any of the Magic early as they made 8 of their first 12 attempts.
Devin Booker struggled with his shot early, starting 0-4 including 0-3 from deep before walking into a deep one over Mo Bamba, one of the longest players in the league, early in the shot clock that was nothing but twine. He’d get one more bucket to finish the quarter with 5 with the Suns down 23-30.
Orlando kept up the pressure with their still-hot shooting (8-16 from deep) after a Damion Lee movement three gave the Suns a 1-point lead. They extended their lead back out to as much as 9, just playing harder and getting shots to fall with better efficiency (Phoenix at 42.9% and Orlando at 58.5%), but a three at the buzzer by Bridges kept Phoenix within 6 at the break.
More of the same low energy for the Suns for much of the third, and right as they would build momentum defensively, they’d squander an opportunity to capitalize offensively, turning the ball over or otherwise. Orlando’s lead ballooned out to 87-74 by the end of the frame. Booker and Bridges combined to shoot 7-28 (25%) through the first 36.
Payne opened the fourth with 8 straight points, but the Suns defense wasn’t doing anything to slow Orlando’s firepower. Monty Williams called for timeout down 84-99 with 8:18 left in the game, setting up what would be a decisive stretch.
Bridges was the first to strike after the timeout with a three — just his third made field goal in 13 tries — but the Suns were never that close again. The first real nail in the coffin was Bridges dropping a bad pass from Booker with 5:36 left as Orlando led by 17. The next was a Carter Jr.-to-Franz Wagner alley-oop that extended the lead to 21 with 4:04 remaining.
Monty emptied the bench as the fourth loss of the season washed over the Suns. 114-97 the final, one to file away and forget about as the Suns continue their four-game road trip, now 1-2 on it.
Miami is the final stop on the little roadie. Suns will tip off against the Heat on Monday at 5:30 p.m. on Bally Sports AZ.