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Recap: Suns hand Pacers second L of weekend in Vegas finale

After matching Ayton’s max offer sheet on Friday, the Summer Suns thrashed the Pacers on Sunday.

2022 NBA Summer League - Phoenix Suns v Indiana Pacers Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns crushed the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Summer League finale for both teams. Pacers fought hard to nearly even things in the second, but Phoenix handled Indy the rest of the way.

Four Suns — Louis King, Ish Wainright, Kam Taylor, and Tyson Carter — reached double figure scoring, while no Pacers did.

First Half

I was expecting a big showing from Wainright in the Suns’ finale and he showed up ready for the opportunity, trying two threes in the first minute. He missed his pindown look sprinting up to the top of the key, but he made his second attempt to stay with a positive start.

After Taylor’s downhill cut for a nice finish on the feed from McKinley Wright IV, the Suns led 7-0 after two and a half minutes in the contest, though shortly after, King came out a bit bothered by his lower body.

The Suns struggled a bit after their small run, accumulating five early turnovers before the five-minute mark, but Wainright got Phoenix’s offense back on track with a corner three.

One of three NBL (Australian league) veterans on the Suns’ squad, Dejan Vasiljevic saw some early run in this game’s first quarter, and his impact was felt quickly with a catch-and-shoot three followed by a dumpoff in transition for a bucket, and the Suns were up 17-5 with 3:30 left in the first.

Suns struggled with turnovers more in the absence of Wainright and King down the stretch of the quarter but they led after the buzzer 20-11. Wainright led all scorers with 6 on 2-3 from three, adding in two steals as well, though the team was behind in assist-to-turnover ratio at a measly 6-7.

Wainright and King were both back out there to start the second, and the offense was humming much more smoothly as far as sets and process goes, even on a miss like this:

Turnovers remained an issue, however, with three turnovers in just over three minutes to begin the quarter. Indiana was only at 5 by this point, half of Phoenix’s mark, which suggested Indiana would stay in the game long term.

A 10-0 run by Indiana in the middle of the second closed the gap between the two as the turnovers were in fact getting the best of Phoenix, though the Suns led by 4 at the break, 34-30. Phoenix had one more turnover (6) than made baskets (5) in the quarter. Wainright’s 6 still led the way for the Suns, but five others had at least 4.

Second Half

Suns opened the third on a 12-2 run, extending that lead back out to double digits thanks in part to the intensity of guys like Taylor and Wright on the defensive end.

From that point on in the third, the lead didn’t fluctuate much until Carter hit back-to-back threes at the top of the key, helping the Suns to a 16-point lead after three, 64-48. King’s 9 points in the third alone helped him to a game-high 14 points (1-2 from 2, 4-7 from 3); no one else was even in double figures yet.

Wainright had the first basket of the fourth, a three from straightaway, bringing him into double digits at 11; by this point he was shooting 3-7 from deep, as well as being up to 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. He even got a little funky, trying a corner stepback:

Indiana’s proverbial white flag went up at the 3:24 mark, down 79-58. The only starter left for the Suns was Taylor. Both benches closed the game out for an 84-69 game.

Five Stars of the Game

(five this time, to show as much appreciation as possible in this final opportunity)

Five stars: Ish Wainright

Four stars: Louis King

Three stars: Tyson Carter

Two stars: Kam Taylor

One star: Jo Lual-Acuil Jr.

Up Next

Now, we wait! For a Durant trade, for any other additional moves, and for training camp, which we’re roughly two months away from.