When: 7:00 pm AZ Time
Where: Footprint Center — Phoenix, Arizona
Watch: Suns Live, NBATV, AZ Family 3TV, AZ Family Sports
Listen: KMVP 98.7 FM
It was Deandre Ayton and Toumani Camara’s first game against their former team, and the same for Jusuf Nurkic and Nassir Little of course.
Nurkic posted 17 points, 8 rebounds 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block in 21 minutes of action on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Phoenix’s starters were locked in and made the most of their action early on. They scored 76 points in the first half and finished +18 or higher in the box score.
Devin Booker hit some tough pullup threes that set Twitter (X) on fire momentarily, and Durant looked to be in midseason form as well. Eric Gordon led all Suns’ scorers with 20 points in 18 minutes on 10 shots.
Blazers rookie Scoot Henderson had an impressive game, tallying 22 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 31 minutes, though he did have six turnovers. Ayton finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block in 23 minutes against his former squad.
Now we’re all set for round two. Phoenix had three days off between games and Portland is coming off a 138-133 loss to Utah on Saturday.
- Bradley Beal
- Devin Booker
- Josh Okogie
- Kevin Durant
- Jusuf Nurkic
- Scoot Henderson
- Anfernee Simons
- Matisse Thybulle
- Jerami Grant
- Deandre Ayton
- Damion Lee (right knee meniscus) is OUT
- Eric Gordon (hip) is OUT
- Ish Wainright (right calf strain) is OUT
- Deandre Ayton (undisclosed) is QUESTIONABLE
- Robert Williams (knee) is QUESTIONABLE
What to Watch For
The Big 3 is in.
Booker, Durant, and Beal are all expected to play, making this their first “official” home game together. It remains to be seen how long of a leash Vogel gives them, as we edge closer to the final rehearsal in terms of preseason minutes. Phoenix has one remaining preseason game in left in a neutral site against the Lakers.
This very well could be their last chance for reps before the regular season tips off next Tuesday should they opt to rest them for the preseason finale. Let’s hope they make the most of it.
The Ayton-Nurkic Round 2
This matchup went heavily in favor of Nurkic in round one. Yes, it’s preseason and ultimately meaningless, but it was encouraging to see him look as comfortable as he did.
It’s unclear how many minutes either of the two will receive tonight. In today’s day and age, it’s possible one of the two doesn’t even play, we just don’t know yet.
It will be interesting to see Ayton against his former team at home this time, but I’m sure he cannot wait to get it over with. It’s like running into your ex in public on consecutive nights at different bars.
Phoenix’s offense has looked sharp this preseason, posting 119.7 points per game in three games on a 48/39/80 shooting split (rounding up).
The Suns have done a nice job of getting to the line this preseason, as they currently rank 6th in FTA and 5th in FTM. They are sixth overall in the NBA in three point shooting percentage at 38.8.
Keys to a Suns Win
How long do the starters play? How large of a cushion can they leave the second unit with?
That is all.
The real “win” is staying healthy.
Suns by 4.