The Phoenix Suns (9-5) took advantage of an Indiana Pacers (5-8) team that has been decimated by injuries, and won in easy fashion 106-83. The Pacers, who were fourth in points allowed (93.0) coming into this game, couldn’t stop the fast paced, high scoring Suns, as Phoenix won their fourth straight road game. The Suns, ranked 25th in the NBA, giving up 103.5 points per game, held the Pacers to the lowest point total against them this season.
“We’re getting a little bit of a rhythm. It’s something about being on the road. These guys have come together and everybody is contributing.” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek
The first quarter was a hotly contested match, with the score changing hands 7 times. The Pacers have been without starters George Hill, David West, and Paul George all season, and to add insult to injury, starting center Roy Hibbert sprained his ankle midway through the first period. Hibbert ended up playing less than 7 minutes in the game. With the score tied at 15-15, Rodney Stuckey subbed in for Indiana, and Gerald Green subbed in for the Suns. Stuckey would score 9 of the final 12 points for the Pacers, on his way to leading Indiana with 14 points and 6 rebounds for the game. Green would one-up Stuckey by scoring 12 points for the Suns in the final 2:41 of the quarter. Green, going against his former team, would go on to lead all scorers with 23 points, and give the Suns a 30-27 lead heading into quarter two.
“We’re potentially a 48-to-50 win team. But potential doesn’t mean anything if you don’t prepare your potential. Right now we’re just trying to take it game-by-game. Just because you win four games in-a-row doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to make the playoffs so we’re just trying to use this to build on.” Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green
Green would continue his hot hand by nailing two more 3-pointers early in the second, and give the Suns a 12 point lead with 7:39 to go before the break. Solomon Hill would drop in 8 of his 13 total points for the game, to keep the Pacers within reach at 55-48 at the half.
The Suns stepped up their defense in the third quarter, and held the Pacers to just 16 points on 6 of 19 (31.6%) from the field. Phoenix was able to extend their 7 point halftime lead to 16 on a fast break that Markieff Morris finished with 5:02 to go in the period. Markieff would finish the game with 13 points and 6 rebounds. The Suns outscored the Pacers 11-4 in fast break points, with Goran Dragic leading the way by scoring 8 points in the quarter. The Suns would hold onto their 16 point lead the rest of the third, and go into the final quarter leading 80-64.
The Suns, for the second straight night, were able to rest their starters during the fourth period, as Isaiah Thomas would finish things off for Phoenix. Thomas scored 9 points in the final period, helping to extend the Suns lead to a game high 25 after draining a 3-pointer with 5:26 left in the game. Thomas finished the game with 16 points, and has now made 48 consecutive free throws. The Suns are leading the NBA shooting 83.4 percent from the stripe this season. The Pacers shot 30.4 percent in the fourth quarter on 7 of 23 shooting, and were held to a season low 35 second half points for Suns opponents.
Indiana was seeking their fifth win in the last six games, having held their opponents to 90 points or less in the last four wins. The Pacers shot just 36.7 percent in the game, also an opponent season low for the Suns. The Suns, who out-rebounded the Pacers 51-47, are now 7-0 this year when out-rebounding their opponent. The Suns have beaten the Pacers three straight, and 8 of the last 10 meetings. Phoenix has one more road game against the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors (11-2) on Monday, November 24th.