The first half is indecisive as both teams play in slow motion and suffer from their clumsiness. They show almost the same shooting percentage: 35% for the Suns (15/43); 33% for the Pacers (15/45). By a similar score in each of the first two quarters (23-19); Phoenix went ahead at halftime (46-38); without convincing.
In the second half; the pace picks up. Devin Booker; thus far inconspicuous; scored 22 points in the third quarter alone (16th quarter with 20 or more points in his career) while Caris LeVert and Justin Holiday compiled 8/12 shooting. The Pacers scored 38 points in the third quarter alone; their total for the first half; and picked up the score (80-76) despite heat stroke from the former Kentucky running back.
The last quarter will be the “show” of Chris Paul. Although he had missed all four of his shots in the first 36 minutes; the -Point God– went into -money-time– mode and made 5 of his next 6 shots. Under the impetus of the leader; the Suns beat 32 points in the last act and finally offer a quiet end to the match against a Pacers that will have faced bravely but fell short to aspire to shake the best team in the league.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
Chris Paul elusive in the fourth quarter. Ghostly for 36 minutes; the leader came out of the woods at the best moment of the moment. While the Pacers had just moved up the scoreboard; he took it upon himself to calm their enthusiasm with a 5/6 quarter shot. He compiled 12 points (5/10); 3 rebounds; 9 assists and 2 steals.
An indecisive match despite what the final gap suggests. If the final hole (+18 for Phoenix) suggests otherwise; the match was indeed disputed. Proof of this are 10 draws during the game. The Pacers quickly gave up in the fourth quarter; but the previous 36 minutes were indecisive.
TOPS / FLIP FLOPS
✅ Devin Booker. Discreet in the fourth quarter; the All-Star defender nevertheless had a great third quarter with his 22 points on 8/12 shooting. An almost banal XXL offensive score for the scorer; who finished the game with 35 points (11/25); 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
✅ Deandre Ayton. In 30 minutes; the center compiled a double-double of authority; with 27 points (at 18/12) and 12 rebounds. Main objective of the passes of “CP3”; he had fun in the paint and made the interiors of the Pacers suffer; Myles Turner in the lead.
✅ Caris LeVert. In the absence of Malcolm Brogdon; the side is the main architect of the Pacers; and against Phoenix he made a satisfactory copy: 20 points (8/19); 5 rebounds and 9 assists. Not enough to worry these Suns unfortunately for the former Michigan.
⛔️ pacemaker bank. The Duarte/Stephenson/Brissett trio compiled 13 points on 6/23 and weren’t much help to the starters; particularly a single Caris LeVert on the offensive plan during the game.
⛔️ miles turner. Discreet in attack (5 points in 2/9); the center also suffered defensively against Deandre Ayton; whom he was unable to stop. The worst +/- of his team (-19); he erred in deterrence; an area in which; however; he is usually brilliant. It is never easy to face an opposing center served by Chris Paul.
Phoenix (32-9) : continuation of Sunday’s “road-trip” with a trip to Detroit
Indiana (15-28) : back to work on Monday for a trip to Los Angeles; against the Clippers
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