The resilient Phoenix Suns are back in the series: Takeaways from Game 4

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE.
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE. /

The Phoenix Suns showed resilience in their 100-92 win in Game 4. Here are seven takeaways from Game 4.

Phoenix Suns reasons for beating L.A. in Game 4: Chris Paul

A healthy Paul provides a stellar Suns team. Putting up 18 points with nine assists gives the Suns their most valuable player back. Hitting big shots and being a floor general led the Suns to the win. Paul’s zero turnovers show why the Suns need Paul on the floor. Often without Paul, the Suns continuously turn the ball over.

Phoenix Suns reasons for beating L.A. in Game 4: Deandre Ayton

What a series Ayton is having. Sunday, Ayton gave the Suns 14 points and 17 rebounds, including a game-changing third quarter. Ayton’s seven points in under five minutes in the third quarter were crucial. Without his physicality around the basket, the Suns easily lose this game.

Going up against a bigger team meant Ayton would be the X-factor this series. He has been just that and more. Ayton is averaging 19.8 points and 13.5 rebounds on 80.9 percent shooting through four games. Many did not expect this dominance against the Lakers, who have big men such as Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond and Marc Gasol.

Since the Suns were 23rd in rebounding in the NBA during the regular season, Ayton has done wonders for the Suns’ rebounding in these playoffs. The Suns were barely outrebounded today as they grabbed 49 rebounds to the Lakers’ 50. This is a giant uplift to the Suns.

Phoenix Suns reasons for beating L.A. in Game 4: Mikal Bridges

Bridges is shooting 34.8 percent from the field. Simply not good enough. The Suns will need a big game from Bridges here. Without his contributions, it leaves a big hole in the scoring that the Suns are used to after averaging 13.5 points per game on 54.3 percent shooting this season.

The Phoenix Suns’ other guys

Jae Crowder and Cameron Payne both stepped up Sunday. Crowder finally found his rhythm during Game 4. He ended up shooting 50 percent from the field, including a dagger 3-pointer with 1:23 left in the game to put the Suns up 10. Payne provided 13 points and four assists to give the Suns a boost. If the Suns do not get these contributions with Devin Booker’s poor shooting, the Suns lose.

Phoenix Suns reasons for beating L.A. in Game 4: Defense

The Suns rank fifth in defensive rating during these playoffs. It took another spectacular effort on the defensive end to muster a win. Matching up against a team with the best defensive rating during the regular season means the Suns have to bring it defensively. If the Suns can continue their stellar defense, they will have a chance to win two games.

Phoenix Suns reasons for beating L.A. in Game 4: Offense

The Suns’ offensive rating ranks 14th in these playoffs. A bit alarming, but there is context. Facing the best defensive team in the league is challenging for the Suns. Hence why Paul’s health is so vital with his shot creation abilities. Hopefully, the team can get into a rhythm on offense, or it will be tough to overcome the Lakers.

Phoenix Suns reasons for optimism: Homecourt advantage is regained

After losing homecourt advantage in Game 2 and then going down 2-1, the Suns have shown resilience. With homecourt back on the Suns’ side, the time is now. Win Game 5 and anything can happen. The Lakers are the most talented team in the Western Conference and defeating them brings the NBA Finals in reach. The Suns have to capitalize back in the Valley, where the fans will be going bonkers.

light. Related Story. Did LeBron quit on the Lakers in Game 4?