Pels bigs too much for Suns, drop game 122-116
The Phoenix Suns did everything they could to hang on against the New Orleans Pelicans tonight, falling by a score of 122-116. There was a lot of back and forth action in tonight’s game, making for an entertaining watch. The Pelicans big men hurt the Suns all night, with PF Ryan Anderson making his mark in the first half while Anthony Davis did most of his damage in the second half.
The Suns were led by Eric Bledsoe tonight, finishing with a stat line of 29 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Devin Booker played the best game of his young NBA career tonight, going for 15 points and a couple rebounds. For the Pelicans, Davis tallied 32 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead the way. Anderson’s sweet stroke led to 29 points, with 12 of those coming from three pointers.
The beginning of the game saw the Suns and Pelicans trading baskets before the Pelicans went on an 11-2 run, putting them up by eight points. Booker and Mirza Teletovic were the first off the bench for the Suns tonight with Hornacek looking for some hot shooting to get the Suns back in gear. For the Pelicans, Anderson got hot early, hitting his first four three pointers in the first half. T.J. Warren looked to be back to 100% health after missing time due to an illness, hitting 3/3 three pointers in the quarter. Solid shooting by both teams kept the game close going into halftime, with the scoreboard showing 56-55 in favor of the Pelicans.
Early in the third quarter, Bledsoe had to go back to the locker room with a minor leg injury. The Pelicans took full advantage of the opportunity, going on a 15-2 run to create a nice lead for themselves. Phoenix found themselves down seven points heading into the fourth quarter after an Ish Smith buzzer beater. With the fourth quarter underway, Davis decided it was time to let his presence be felt, skying over Suns players to grab rebounds and scoring buckets left and right. Davis drove in a contested three pointer over Markieff Morris to put them up three with only 0:48 left on the clock, causing the Suns to play the foul game to hope to stay alive.
- Booker is impressing early in his rookie season, but still has a way to go. Booker got buckets tonight, scoring 15 points on 5/8 shooting from the field. When he has the ball in his hands he looks confident and under control, never trying to do too much. Booker does struggle on the defensive end of the court which is not unordinary for NBA rookies. His defense will improve with time, as he acquires an NBA body and gets more games under his belt. Overall, his basketball IQ is very impressive for a 19 year old kid and Suns fans should be excited to watch him progress over the years.
- Knight came back to earth tonight, converting only five of his 18 shots from the field. He did still manage 19 points thanks to a solid night at the free throw line, going 7/8. After a very slow start in the first half, Knight started contribution heavily in the second half, helping to keep the game close.
- Our old pal Ish Smith is playing great basketball so far this season. He almost managed a triple-double tonight, going for 17 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Smith was a fan favorite in Phoenix two seasons ago, coming off the bench and electrifying the crowd every night. He gave the Suns a lot of trouble tonight, driving and dishing or converting the lay up if it was there. Smith forced the Suns to scramble in their defensive rotations, leaving shooters open throughout the night.
The Suns head to San Antonio to play the Spurs tomorrow night at 6:30 MST.