The Phoenix Suns punched their ticket to the playoffs and dominated a bitter foe of playoffs past with a 115-94 blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs.
With Kevin Durant seemingly settled in with the Phoenix, the bad starts that haunted the team during an injury-riddled winter were nowhere to be seen, as the Suns jumped on the Spurs early and never looked back. In dominating fashion, with the lead ballooning to as much as 31, Phoenix whooped an old rival and secured a playoff birth.
CP3 is making it happen early for the Suns
When a team has two elite-level individual scorers like Devin Booker and KD, the workload on the point guard is lessened. With less need to set the table for others, Chris Paul turned three-point specialist in the first quarter hitting three triples as part of an incredible 42-point first-quarter for Phoenix.
DBook was even more impressive for the Suns, pouring in 14 first-quarter points, while KD had eight.
The 17-point lead Phoenix enjoyed after the first quarter would expand and contract throughout the final three quarters, growing as big as 31 and as small as nine, but the game was never in doubt.
Coming out of the timeout as 83-74, a second chance bucket for Deandre Ayton started a nine-to-zero Suns run, removing any hope for the Spurs and sealing the Suns’ victory.
Balanced production and dominating defense lead the way for Phoenix
Phoenix had six players in double-figures on the night, all the starters except Josh Okogie, Torrey Craig, and Bismack Biyombo. Craig’s effort was awe-inspiring, with the sixth man adding ten rebounds, three assists, and a steal, along with his 15 points. Not to be outdone, Biyombo had four blocks with his 10 points.
Bizzy probably should have had five blocks, but Monty Williams let a questionable goaltending call go in the fourth quarter of a blowout win.
Booker led all scorers with 27 points, while Ayton added a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Durant had a pedestrian 18 points, which was plenty on a night when Paul had 22.
More impressive than the balanced scoring was the defense from the Suns. Phoenix did not give up more than 26 points in any of the quarters and held San Antonio to just 39% shooting from the field on the night. With seven blocks, seven steals, and 25 more rebounds than the Spurs, the Suns dominated in every way possible.
If not for some hot three-point shooting at times in the third quarter, the Spurs would have lost by 40 as the Suns cruised to their sixth straight win and 44th of the season, assuring Phoenix of postseason basketball.