Centre DeAndre Ayton was the standout performer of the day as he finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds on 6-10 shooting and also recorded three rejections.
The Phoenix Suns defeated the Charlotte Hornets by 137-106 on Sunday night. It was an impressive game from the Suns, their free flowing ball movement and accurate shooting helped them to take a 29-point lead, and the Suns led 69-47 after two. Meanwhile Hornets’ leaky defence and atrocious shooting helped to supplement the Suns’ lead. In the third quarter, the Suns continued their domination and any hopes of a comeback from the Hornets were quickly dashed. Meanwhile a lethal offensive game and a tight defence helped Monty Williams sit his starting lineup for the entire fourth quarter.
The Suns shot 56.8% from the field and 48.8% from three, while the Hornets shot a disappointing 35.4% and 22.2% respectively. Phoenix also won the rebounding battle (57-43) while registering 35 assists against 17 turnovers. All of the starters scored 14-16 points, and JaVale finished with 19 points, seven rebounds, and a block on 9-10 shooting.
No Sunday scaries detected. pic.twitter.com/IQEbmfA3xI
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 20, 2021
For the Hornets, Miles Bridges was a bright spot. He finished with 26 points, five rebounds, and two steals on 10-16 shooting. Meanwhile LaMelo Ball contributed nine points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and a block, while Kelly Oubre chipped in with 18 off the bench.
The Suns started with Paul, Book, Mikal, Jae and Deandre Ayton while Hornets had Ball, Rozier, Hayward, Miles and Plumlee in their starting lineup. The Suns started the game brightly as Jae scored back-to-back three pointers. With 7:52 left on the clock Suns raced to a 11-3 lead.
The Hornets were struggling to get going but they let it fly from the deep. LaMelo Ball is 0-5 from the field and 0-3 three from three. Meanwhile for Phoenix, Ayton was already causing all sorts of problems to Charlotte, and created space for an easy Mikal bucket.
James Borrego called for another time out and the Suns are up 24-9 with 5:14 left in the quarter. Reserves started to get into the game as Cam Payne scored a three and JaVale putback followed by a PJ Washington bucket. Monty used his first timeout as his team led 31-13 with 1:54 left.
A couple of threes from Landry Shamet and Cam Johnson helped the Suns end the quarter as strong as they started it. After the first quarter, Phoenix are up by 37-15. Ayton has been brilliant so far, with nine points and nine rebounds. Apart from Gordon Haywards’ five points, no other Hornets player has more than two.
The Suns continued their dominance in the second quarter. LaMelo hit the first three of the night and the timeout followed. Suns are up 51-22.with 6:36 left in the half. Towards the end of the second quarter, Miles Bridges is starting to get into the game, scoring 13 on the night. However, it didn’t matter much as the Suns were on target with their threes and layups. Ayton has already registered a double-double, and Book and Mikal are in double digits as well. With 1:42 left in the half, the Suns are up 63-40.
Ayton finished the half with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, while Books had 10 points, Mikal had 11 and Chris Paul chipped in eight assists.
The Suns started from where they had left in the first. They were clinical with their threes as Books was on target twice and within 7:59 left in the third quarter they were up by 82-59. Bridges is up to 21 on the night, but the Suns’ onslaught has been too hot for this young Hornets side to handle. With 2:32 left in the third quarter, the Suns are up 101-67.
Both teams emptied their benches early in the fourth quarter, and it was nice to see the Suns starters get some well-earned rest. As the final buzzer sounds, the scoreboard reads 137-106. Suns win.
Ayton was the standout performer of the day. He set the tone on the defensive end. His energy and intensity throughout the game was superb. He finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds on 6-10 shooting. He also recorded three rejections.
The suns will next travel to Los Angeles for the Tuesday fixture.