INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Devin Booker scored 35 points, Deandre Ayton had 27 points and 12 rebounds and the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns beat the Indiana Pacers 112-94 on Friday night.
Chris Paul added 12 points and nine assists for Phoenix, and Cam Payne had 11 points and five assists. The Suns finished the first half of the season 32-9, their second-best record in franchise history through 41 games. I’m a scoring guard, and I get paid to make plays, and Chris getting the ball in the basket on time. Deandre’s dominant first half (32 points) made it easier for us all to move into the second half. “Deandre having a dominant first half (21 points) made things open things up for all of us in the second half.”
Justin Holiday scored 25 points for Indiana, hitting seven 3s, Caris LeVert had 20, and Domantas Sabonis added 14 points and 14 rebounds. The Pacers have lost three in a row and nine of 10.
Booker scored 22 points in the third quarter to help the Suns take an 80-76 lead into the fourth. With the Pacers ahead 76-73, Phoenix had a 23-2 run to take a 96-78 lead. Monty Williams, Suns coach, said
“(Booker had made some difficult shots. “We gave up 38 points in that third quarter so we needed something to offset that.”
Williams said the defense was the difference in the fourth quarter.
” “We kept getting stop after stopping after stop and that really helped us,” Williams stated.
Neither team shot well in a low-scoring first half, with the Suns ahead 46-38 lead at the intermission. Ayton held the Suns’ lead.
“Ayton was freed up by their pick-and-roll coverage and we were able to find him in the pocket,” Williams stated. He was able take advantage of the smaller guy who guided him in the middle. The physicality of our guys tonight stepped up.”
Jalen Smith had 12 rebounds off the bench and Jae Crowder had 11.