The Phoenix Suns get a win as Ayton played well, and Rubio played well, and so did Booker and Bridges, while Walt “Clyde” Frazier is still the poet laureate of the NBA.
If only the Phoenix Suns could play the Knicks every other game.
Last night the Suns took a stroll through the Garden and stepped on all the pretty flowers and made New York look ugly.
Randle drives and spins
Percolating in the lane
The left-handler shoots
Luckily, the play Frazier was describing was few and far between for the Knicks, and the Suns came away with a nice win.
You can be forgiven for not reading too much into the win. These are the Knicks we are talking about, maybe the only team in the league more erratic than the Suns.
After getting blown out by the Jazz and Pelicans, the Knicks played Miami at home and got an impressive win against one of the toughest teams in the East.
Then they got blown out by the Bucks in Milwaukee, which isn’t so surprising. Still, a win is a win is a win and the Suns got it and the Knicks didn’t and that’s all that matters for a team looking to make a push for its first playoffs in going on ten years.
It was an odd game for the Suns, who started Bridges in place of an injured Oubre, along with Saric, Ayton, Rubio, and D-Book. It was an effective lineup and maybe one that the Suns should explore more, even after Oubre comes back.
Mikal Bridges, who played 35 minutes and had 7 points with 4 assists and 5 rebounds, maybe played his best game with the starters and might be a more natural fit and allow Oubre to come off the bench and provide much-needed scoring. Bridges, who’s arms seem to extend across three passing lanes at once, has become Phoenix’s utility knife and most dependable defensive presence.
But Bridges wasn’t the only one with a nice game. Ayton, playing in only his 11th game of the year—his 9th straight—finally looked like the player everyone thought he’d be, scoring 26 points and grabbing 21 rebounds (seven in the 4th quarter). He ate up all the boards and looked like one of the best centers in the NBA.
Then there was that ally-oop. Rubio, who seems to be able to communicate with teammates through some strange telepathic eye contact, thew a lob from 3/4 the length of the court and gave Ayton the highlight of the season so far. It was a good moment to cap off a great night for the much-maligned center.
Ricky Rubio had himself a night. His first game back after the birth of his fist child, he played 35 minutes, scoring 25 points while dishing out 13 assists and coming up 2 boards shy of a triple-double, showing off for his newborn son.
All of this overshadowed another solid outing by Booker who had 29 point in 27 minutes on another efficient night from the field.
It was a good night for the Suns. As for the Knicks, well, they remain the only team in the NBA that wishes they were as competent as the Suns over the past ten years. At least they have Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Mike Breen, and Rebecca Harlow. That’s something.
In New York City
The Suns visit the Garden
Stepping on flower