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Suns vs. Knicks Final Score: Beal injuries ankle, Suns forget how to play defense in 139-122 loss

The Knicks spoiled a night of celebration as Brunson was unstoppable, scoring 50 points and not missing a three-pointer all night.

New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

The New York Knicks dismantled the Phoenix Suns on Friday night, pouncing them with a 42-point fourth quarter and winning 139-122.

Friday night was Shawn Marion (The Matrix) night at the Footprint Center, and you could feel the excitement as soon as you stepped into the building. The excitement quickly turned to “oh no” as Bradley Beal exited the game halfway through the first quarter after landing on the opposition's foot while attempting to make a three.

Jalen Brunson did everything he could to spoil the retirement of #31 by dominating the Suns in every way possible, and he succeeded. With the added help of Julius Randle controlling the paint, and scoring points, the Knicks held control for most of the game and pulled away big with five minutes left in the game.

Shooting 17-29 from the field, including 9-9from three, Brunson and the Knicks continued to knock down three after three even on contested shots.

Devin Booker and Kevin Durant combined for a total of 57 points, doing their best to keep pace with Brunson, but they lost another battle to the star on the other team.


Game Flow

First Half

It was a competitive game to start, and with the game tied at 12 a piece, the only thing you didn’t want to see happened. Another injury. With 7:28 left in the first quarter, Beal went down after draining a three and landing on the opposition's foot, sending him to the locker room. Before exiting He sunk his free-throw but was in too much pain to continue.

After another set-back to Beal’s career here in the Phoenix, the Suns had to continue the battle in the first to keep things close with the Knicks. Jalen Brunson continued to push the ball to the rim in the first quarter along with Julius Randle. The Suns defense, like in recent games, was atrocious to start and couldn’t handle the competition in the paint. The Knicks scored 18 of their 31 first quarter points in the paint led by Randle who had 8 points.

That being said, the Suns managed to keep things interesting and were only down 31-30 entering the second quarter with Booker scoring 7 and Nurkic adding another 9.

With Beal out, Jordon Goodwin had to step up in a major way. Starting the second quarter, the focus from Goodwin was to spread the ball and it started with Chimezie Metu. Metu was able to find holes in the defense and get the rim a few times. Once, leading to a wide-open lay-up, the other time leading to free throws.

Booker kept the pace of pushing the ball to the rim and keeping the defense for the Suns more competitive. It was a physical game in the first half, and the Suns had to show that they could stay strong against the Knicks.

With Kevin Durant returning with about 6 minutes left in the second quarter, he managed to drain a three and tie the game at 47. Nurkic had Durant's back, by fighting hard in the lane for putback attempts and looking for fouls. No fouls were given, but a couple of his attempts fell. The Suns could not grab the lead after tying the game as the Kicks continued to jump up by four after hitting shot after shot, matching Durant at the other end.

Durant single handily kept the Suns in the game hitting a three on back-to-back plays and scoring 10 straight. You could feel the momentum switch to the Suns with the crowd behind him.

Durant ended the first half with 17 points along with Nurkic scoring 15. The dynamic between Booker, Nurkic, Durant, and a sprinkle of Grayson Allen was special to watch. Their effort on the offensive end gave the Suns the 68-63 lead. Let’s not talk about the defense tho.

Second Half

Booker and Durant exchanged buckets entering the third quarter, extending the Suns lead to a game-high 9 points. The offense was explosive, but the defense from the Suns still struggled. Brunson was abusing the Suns on screens and knocking down just about everything. He spaced a canyon between him and the Suns defenders, making every attempt an easy bucket.

Allen gave the Suns defense a name with 6 minutes left in the third quarter with a nasty block on Jericho Sims. To go along with that highlight on the defensive end, Allen highlighted the offensive end with an and-1 getting the fans out of their seats. But whatever the Suns did to try and pull away, Brunson continued to be a pest and knock down wide-open threes. The perimeter defense from the Suns had holes in it the whole night.

To end the third quarter, Randle managed to continue his dominance in the paint, not only by scoring but drawing the Suns defense to him and kicking the ball out to wide-open jump-shooters.

With the Knicks continuing to hang around, the Suns could only stand a two point lead entering the fourth quarter, 99-97.

With the Suns' effort on the defensive end to start the Fourth Quarter, the Knicks continued to knock down threes, pulling away 108-103. Hands in the Knicks face or not, the ball continued to find the bottom of the net.

Even Goodwin gave it his best shot to put a lid on Brunson, but his aggressive defense led to fouls, giving Brunson an automatic two at the line. With the Knicks ahead 114-106, Brunson extended the lead to 10, controlling the game with great ball movement and quick handles, getting to the rim at will. He was closing the game out and there was nothing the Suns could do to stop him.

With every Suns miss, there was a Knick rebound. The Knicks were limiting the Suns to one-and-done possessions, limiting their opportunities to cut into the lead with five minutes left in the game with the Suns down 123-111.

The remaining minutes of the game were all Brunson and the Knicks took care of business, winning 139-122.


Up Next

The Suns end their homestand with the Wizards on Sunday. Landry Shamet will probably score 40. Good night.

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