Sports

Suns set franchise record with 18th straight win; use balanced scoring attack to beat Pistons

With a 114-108 victory Thursday night, the Phoenix Suns set a new franchise record with their 18th straight win when they beat the Detroit Pistons. Following up what Phoenix All-Star guard Devin Booker called a “no loss November,” the Suns continued to roll at home against a rebuilding Pistons team. More impressively, the Suns managed to rattle off this win without Booker, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“I hadn’t talked about streaks of any kind, just because we had been so focused on improving, but it is really cool to be a part of something like that,” coach Monty Williams said. “To win like this, the way we’ve won — guys out of the rotation, losing [Booker] — the relentless attitude of our team, the way we stick together, makes it really cool.”

It was a team effort in Booker’s absence that got the Suns their 18th win, with seven players scoring in double figures, led by Cameron Johnson and Cam Payne’s 19 points each off the bench. Mikal Bridges added 18 points, while Deandre Ayton racked up a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. All-Star guard Chris Paul also tallied a double-double with 12 points and 12 assists. 

The Suns having multiple scorers in double figures is just a testament to their style of play, where the ball is constantly whipping around to try and find the best opportunity for a bucket. It’s part of the reason why they have the seventh-best offense in the league. Their offense gets even better in clutch situations, as they have the second-best offense in the last five minutes of the game, shooting a ridiculous 65 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep. 

The clutch play and the defense have been the biggest standouts for Phoenix over this winning streak, as it has pulled out some tough wins over the Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks. But as the Suns celebrate this franchise milestone, they’ll have to quickly turn around for a rematch with the Warriors on Friday night.

“Obviously it’s hard to win in this league, and we’re not satisfied,” Williams said. “We talk about stretching it out, but it takes doing the right things to do that. We’ve just taken it one game at a time. But it is special to do it in front of our fanbase in a special city like this, with the history of this franchise, to be part of it is pretty cool. I want our guys to enjoy it, but for me, it’s onto the next, let’s get ready for tomorrow.” 

Golden State would surely like to be the ones to end Phoenix’s streak, especially after an uncharacteristic shooting night from Stephen Curry in their previous matchup. Curry was held to just 12 points on 4 of 21 from the field, the worst shooting night of his career thanks to suffocating defense from Bridges. The Suns won that game against the Warriors despite losing Booker in the first half of that game. Although Booker wasn’t needed in that win, things may be different this time around against a Golden State team that would like to spoil the Suns’ winning-streak party. 



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