Phoenix Suns third star goes missing in the loss to Pelicans

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Phoenix Suns were rolling a few weeks ago because they had two stars producing. Against New Orleans, two stars did produce, but their third did not, as Phoenix fell to the Pelicans for a third straight defeat.

A couple of weeks ago, the Phoenix Suns were rolling. Deandre Ayton was player of the week, and Devin Booker was the player of the month. With two stars both producing, the Suns were getting wins, despite not having their floor general, Chris Paul. CP3 is now back, and it could not come at a better time as the schedule is starting to toughen up.

However, against the Pelicans, when the Suns needed all three stars to show out to win, only two did, and Phoenix lost as a result.

Paul and Ayton did their part to star for the Suns

CP3 had a rough first game back against the Celtics as Phoenix was run out of the Footprint Center gym. Against New Orleans, however, Paul looked like he was back in his prime. Paul had a strong shooting night, going 7-14, including a season-best six of nine from three-point range. With seven assists and only three turnovers in 34 minutes, it was almost like Paul was never out.

After an eight-point, seven-rebound clunker against Boston, Ayton bounced back in a big way. Ayton was matched up against Zion Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas for most of the evening as he played a season-high 40 minutes. His 25 points were a Suns high and second only to Williamson’s 35, and Ayton’s 14 rebounds were for more than anyone else on the court and six more than any other Suns player.

Shooting 11-14 from the field and grabbing four offensive rebounds, along with Paul’s production, Ayton kept Phoenix in the game, but the big gun let us down.

Booker continues his slump as his shooting stays off

DBook was on fire for much of November, shooting 50% or better in six of 15 games in the month. However, that hot shooting has cooled off more than expected. Against New Orleans, Booker had his worst shooting night of the season, hitting 29.4% of 17 attempts, including just two of eight from three-point range.

Devin was so off on  Friday he even missed two free throws, as his touch has disappeared. The last time Booker shot close to this poorly, 29.6% against Utah, he shot 60.7% and scored 44 in the next game.

In saying that, we expect Booker to bounce back, and the Suns need it as they face the Pelicans again in New Orleans on Sunday. And we saw on Friday that two starts are not enough, as Phoenix needs all their stars, especially their biggest one, to be at their best.

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