Cheers, Sons fans! The longest year so far ends in a few hours, and the Phoenix Suns ended it with a roller coaster ride, reflecting the year it was played.
Phoenix played a back-to-back game against the Utah Jazz on Thursday evening. The Suns played for the first time this season in front of a live audience as fans were allowed at the Vivit Arena in Salt Lake City.
Defense was the name of the game as they caught the opponent under 100 points for another straight game, with the Jazz down 106-95.
The Suns had a record of 25-20 in the calendar year 2020 from January 1 to December 31.
Game started in true 2020 fashion: delay due to broken backboard cable. Like we can’t wait for enough basketballs for this year.
After a night in which he felt the sun could not miss in front of the pelicans, it was a choppy start to Salt Lake.
Ayton found himself in trouble initially, taking 2 persons in the first. Dario Sacrick and Frank Kinsinski, who did not play in two prison games against Utah, proved their worth in Eaton’s absence. His ability to box out, rebound and change shots on the inside turned out to be an attempt to deploy an internal attack Utah.
Although Booker’s start was 0-4, he started to tap into the talent we already used when he was blown away by Jordan Clarkson for the Slam.
It’s great to see Booker attacking the basket. Devin has an un-booker start to the season, averaging just 19 points per game, 30.8% deep so far this season. Granted, the Suns don’t need its 27-point performance. The team has won for the Ball Sun and the defensive focus that Booker has received has benefited the Sons shooters. The Sun went 17-33 behind the 3-point line.
He made a signature jump from the right behind him.
First, at the end of 22-21 the sun overtook 1.
The Phoenix boosted the defense in the second as they pasted jazz, jumped alleyways and cut drives. It’s really impressive to experience a team that stays consistently active at the end of the defense. The length and commitment of the sun on that side of the floor is exactly the same in run out, fast breaks and easy baskets.
Javan Carter, Cameron Payne and of course Mickel Bridge in minutes “We’re going to work for you every possession.” Leads the team in.
Similar to the game against the Pelicans, the Suns used the second quarter to create a lead. By halftime the Suns were over 13, outsourcing Utah by 14 in Q2. The sun shot 47.7% from the field and 7-18 from the cold.
Let’s all take some time to appreciate Cameron Penn’s efforts. One game is Zion, the next is Golbert:
With its ability to quickly finish around the rim with speed, unique angle and degree of difficulty in which it shoots, it’s something we haven’t seen since Leandro Barbosa Sons was a member.
Utah closed the gap with a 3-2 11-2 start and made their play once again.
Ayton became a constant mystery to the sun. 4 points ?! Many times he saw himself in a basket with balls in hand. The defense was breaking around him. Rather than picking up the ball strongly and putting pressure on opponents, perhaps always collecting elusive tricks, he kicked the ball out. Yet their defense remains great. His superb style spreads well for shot deterrence.
We will try to solve the riddle that Diandre Eaton has solved well in 2021 and solve it.
A back-to-back three by Mickel Bridge extended the lead to 9.5, with Yuta narrowing it to 5, Mikal to 3-ball. The ease of his shot and the confidence in which he shoots it is becoming dangerous.
Is No-Look Point as Deadly as Dario Pass? Maybe.
The Sun Defenders slapped Utah in the final stages of the third, once again making the offense. In a period that felt volatile at the time, with Sano dropping 30 points, they scored 30 and went 4 for 13, 83-70.
Bridges are always assigned the most powerful offensive force to the opposing party. For Utah, it’s All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Warden Warden was running the shelter tonight keeping Michelle. He finished with 23. Earn every point. Every possession was challenged.
Phoenix’s lead was ballooning from 4 to 19, but Utah kept grinding, not letting the sun feel comfortable until the very end. Devin Booker took a few late turnovers which led the Jazz Three to three and the score was under run with 2 minutes left.
Two two-to-two threes by the book, however, sealed the victory.
The Sun will fly to Denver from tonight and will face Nuggets tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. Nicola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets will be rested after a 10-point loss to the Sacramento Kings last Tuesday. Enter the game with a 1-3 record.
The joys of the end of 2020. It is strange that a potential year full of turmoil is equal to a solar ship. From 2020 we will carry a lot of memories with us because it had so many sides. And the sun was on the bright side. Of the sun. Xing.
Happy New Years, Sons fans.