The Phoenix Suns (10-6) caught the New York Knicks (8-9) sleeping at the Footprint Center with a final score of 116-95. The Suns have improved to 34-10 in games following a loss since the start of the 2020-21 season, the best such record in the NBA during that span.
While the Suns carried a lead as large as 11 at the 6:25 mark in the first quarter, the Knicks were able to trim it down to two by the end of the half at 55-53. Phoenix was able to pull away in the back half of the third quarter taking a commanding 90-75 lead.
Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson led the game in scoring with 27 points in 29 minutes. Cameron Payne led the Suns in scoring with 21 points on 7-14 shooting in 32 minutes.
Devin Booker followed up his 49-point game against the Jazz, with 20 points on 7-17 shooting including 5-8 from beyond the arch in 30 minutes.
Since Chris Paul injured his heel in Philadelphia on Nov. 7th, Booker has been sixth in scoring averaging 29.7 points per game.
Head Coach Monty Williams talked before the game on why the All-Star has been relied on so much, “I just think it’s just the combination of where we are. He certainly has the ability to do it. The injuries have led to him probably being pushed a bit more than we planned.”
Williams further explained, “But we all get competitive and you’re trying to win the games so you’re just kind of caught just trying to balance it out but, we certainly have needed everything that he’s been able to produce.”
In the 5 games leading up to this afternoon’s contest, Payne has averaged 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists since Paul has been out.
Ish Wainwright finished with the highest plus-minus at +17 with a line of 3/7/2.
Josh Okogie in 8 minutes put up 7 points on 3-5 shooting. Okogie finished with a line of 7/4/1 in 13 minutes.
Damion Lee finished with 15 points on 4-6 3-point shooting. He has made at least one triple in 9 straight games.
The Suns will look to continue their winning ways on Tuesday against Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers in their first matchup of the year. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Arizona time.
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