The first half is indecisive as both teams play in slow motion and are handicapped by their clumsiness. They show almost the same percentage on shots: 35% for the Suns (15/43), 33% for the Pacers (15/45). By a similar score in each of the first two quarters (23-19), Phoenix took the lead at the break (46-38), without really convincing.
In the second half, the pace picks up. Devin Booker, hitherto discreet, scored 22 points in the third quarter alone (16th quarter with 20 or more career points) while Caris LeVert and Justin Holiday compiled an 8/12 on shots. The Pacers scored 38 points in the third quarter alone, their total for the first half, and picked up the score (80-76) despite the heat stroke of the former Kentucky.
The fourth quarter will be the « show » of Chris Paul. While he had missed his four shots during the first 36 minutes, the “Point God” activated the “money-time” mode and scored 5 of his next 6 shots. Under the impetus of the leader, the Suns stick 32 points in the last act and finally offer a quiet end to the game against these Pacers who will have bravely faced but were too short to hope to shake up the best team in the league.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– Chris Paul elusive in the fourth quarter. Ghostly for 36 minutes, the leader came out of the woods at the best of the moment. While the Pacers had just picked up the score, he took it upon himself to calm their enthusiasm with a 5/6 quarter on shots. He compiled 12 points (5/10), 3 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals.
– An undecided game despite what the final gap suggests. If the final gap (+18 for Phoenix) suggests the opposite, the meeting was indeed disputed. Proof of this is with 10 draws during the game. The Pacers quickly surrendered in the final quarter, but the previous 36 minutes were indecisive.
✅ Devin Booker. Discreet in the last quarter, the All-Star rear nevertheless managed a great third quarter with his 22 points at 8/12 on shots. An almost banal XXL offensive score for the scorer, who finished the game with 35 points (11/25), 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
✅ Deandre Ayton. In 30 minutes, the pivot compiled an authoritative double-double, with 27 points (at 12/18) and 12 rebounds. Main target of « CP3 » passes, he had fun in the paint and made the interiors of the Pacers suffer, Myles Turner in the lead.
✅ Caris LeVert. In the absence of Malcolm Brogdon, the back is the main creator of the Pacers, and against Phoenix he made a satisfactory copy: 20 points (8/19), 5 rebounds and 9 assists. Not enough to worry these Suns unfortunately for the former Michigan.
⛔️ Pacers bench. The Duarte / Stephenson / Brissett trio compiled 13 points at 6/23 and was not of much help to the holders, particularly to a lonely Caris LeVert on the offensive plan during the meeting.
⛔️ Myles Turner. Discreet offensively (5 points at 2/9), the pivot also suffered defensively against Deandre Ayton, whom he failed to hinder. Worst +/- of his team (-19), he sinned in deterrence, an area in which he is however usually brilliant. Never easy to face an opposing pivot served by Chris Paul.
Phoenix (32-9) : continuation of the « road-trip » on Sunday with a trip to Detroit
Indiana (15-28) : back to business on Monday for a trip to Los Angeles, against the Clippers