Phoenix Suns 3 Keys to Victory vs Pelicans in First Round of Playoffs

Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns, Mikal Bridges. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton
Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

Phoenix Suns Keys to Victory vs New Orleans Pelicans: Win the Second Half

Going through a highly unusual season, it makes sense for the Pelicans to score in a highly unusual manner. Despite being a younger team, they actually play their best ball down the stretch of games, almost always making a substantial scoring leap after halftime. Their scoring ranks by quarter this season best illustrates this:

  • Q1: 25th in PTS
  • Q2: 29th in PTS
  • Q3: 10th in PTS
  • Q4: 6th in PTS

With the Suns preparing for a long playoff run, they might want to rest their guys early if they jump out to a large lead. But as we all know from the Play-In game, and these numbers above, this New Orleans team never quits—and the Suns need to watch out for any late game comebacks.

Thankfully, pulling out clutch games has been a well documented theme in this historic season for Phoenix. As this year’s Kings in the Fourth, the Suns could write a multi-volume book series on how to close out games.

The key for Phoenix though will be avoiding even getting to that point. If the Suns indeed jump out to any early leads, they need to keep their feet on the gas and refrain from even granting the Pelicans an opportunity to apply late pressure, play their best ball, and steal away wins.