- Benjamin Gerstel
Suns take care of business against the Pistons, 135-108
Devin Booker and Cade Cunningham started off the game exchanging bucket after bucket. Booker was automatic, shooting 6 of 7 from the field with 15 points in the first quarter. This year’s first overall pick responded very well, with 10 points, and three assists of his own, with one missed shot as well. Booker’s ability to knock down shots was evident this game, as Detroit seemed so worried about him shooting. By the end of the first, they were hedging, creating space for other guys like Deandre Ayton down low, who was found by Chris Paul.
Both teams shot exceptionally well, and had multiple guys contributing as well. Cade led the Pistons early on, but it was Saddiq Bey who took over for them by the end of the first quarter. He had a solid eight points in the quarter, while Phoenix had aid from Cameron Payne and JaVale McGee. Trey Lyles also had 9 points, which is due in large part to him playing “out of position'', which causes mismatches for him. With Ayton playing only eight minutes, McGee was able to make his own mark in the first half. He had 8 points, alongside Payne’s 8. Payne and McGee make a great duo off the bench.
Detroit played like a team with nothing to lose, because they simply don’t. For teams out of playoff contention like them, one can imagine they have opponents like Phoenix circled on their schedule. These types of moral ( victories are huge for bottom feeders, because it gives them some semblance of hope for the next season. Throughout the first half, that’s exactly how Detroit played, putting on a very respectable effort in front of their home crowd. They didn’t give Phoenix any breathing room, until Devin Booker and Cameron Payne began hitting more shots to create a ten point lead with. Detroit ended up losing the first half by ten, but considering Phoenix had 64 first half points, it’s not half bad for the fourteenth seed in the East. Ayton was listed as out by halftime, due to an ankle sprain, but Phoenix continued to cash in on their shots all night, behind Booker’s 21 first half points (9-11 shooting).
McGee continued to put his stamp on this game, being a huge reason why Phoenix shot so well from the field. With Ayton out, McGee continued to dominate down low, going 7 of 8 and adding 17 points by the end of the third. Chris Paul provided his usual calming effect as well, setting a wonderful tone and finding open guys like McGee for dunks. Once Phoenix set themselves apart at the end of the second, they continued to show why they are the best team in the league right now. It was a really impressive showing for the Suns, despite the absence of their big man. Monty Williams deserves his roses as well, for not overlooking the mediocre Pistons, and having his team prepared all night.
With four minutes left in the third, Cade got a technical after a reverse one-handed flush over Jalen Smith. The dunk was phenomenal, and Cade was rightfully hyped up after he made a play like that. Unfortunately, the former Oklahoma State guard got his second technical of the night, ending his night early. All he did was point at someone in his excitement after the play. The Pistons fans let the refs know how bad the call was, with a barrage of “ref, you suck” chants. At this point, Phoenix already had 90, compared to the Piston’s 69 points. With their best player now out and already down by that much, Detroit never really stood a chance from there.
Phoenix never left their foot off the gas pedal, after that huge blow to Phoenix’s morale. They were toying with Detroit, with Devin Booker knocking down impossible fadeaways, while CP3 was hitting people with signature moves of his own. CP3 hit the through the legs fake pass move, while also hitting another defender with a tween dribble through the defenders legs. It was that kind of night for Phoenix, as everything clicked for them. Hopefully Ayton’s injury isn’t too serious, and it won’t keep the stud big out for too long.
The Suns begin a new winning streak, with three straight and continue to play some of the best basketball in the entire association. While the score may not tell the whole story, Detroit should be proud of how they fought in this game, especially in the first half. After Cade was gone, they really struggled, but you can’t blame them for a horrible call made like that by a referee. Phoenix beat Detroit 135-108, extending their record to 30-6, when scoring 100 points or more in a game.