Suns Smoked by Knicks, 128-97
This was an ugly one. The New York Knicks came to town and demolished the Phoenix Suns by a final score of 128-97. The Suns were outscored by ten or more points in three out of the four quarters, but managed to outscore the Knicks in the third quarter by seven points. If Suns’ rookie Devin Booker didn’t have a big night, it would have been even uglier.
Booker led the way for the Suns scoring 32 points on 50% shooting from the floor. Tonight’s scoring output from Booker notched his third 30+ point game of the season, joining Suns’ greats Alvin Adams and Walter Davis as the only rookies to do so in the purple and orange. Booker was hounded by Sasha Vujacic all night, but managed to pour in points all game long. Alex Len put up his sixth consecutive double-double tonight, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Other than that, the Suns’ struggled mightily against the hot shooting Knicks.
New York was led by their star, Carmelo Anthony, who dropped 23 points and picked up seven rebounds. Anthony had a couple stretches throughout the game that reminded you of the offensive force he has been throughout his career, hitting tough shots over the Suns’ best defenders. Vujacic had a very nice game too, scoring 23 points as well while hitting 6/7 of his three pointers. Former Arizona Wildcat Derrick Williams put together a solid fourth quarter, scoring all 18 of his points in the final quarter. Williams was on the receiving end of three beautiful alley-oops, and threw down a massive windmill late in the game to keep Suns’ morale low.
On the bright side, Brandon Knight was finally active for the first time in seven weeks, coming off a sports hernia. Knight didn’t see the floor, but it is encouraging to see him back on the bench and suited up. Chase Budinger got his first minutes as a Sun tonight and managed a dunk and a couple rebounds. Budinger could be a big help to the team down the stretch of the season with his skill set, size, and his ability to run the court.
After tonight’s subpar performance against the Knicks, the Suns will head to Denver to face the Nuggets tomorrow night, March 10th. Tip-off is set for 7:00 MST.