Thu, 18 Aug 2022

Suns chase new franchise win record vs. Pistons

Field Level Media
02 Dec 2021, 10:40 GMT+10

The Phoenix Suns have a golden opportunity to set a franchise record on Thursday.

They can break the franchise record for most consecutive victories as their opponent, the Detroit Pistons, visit Phoenix with a seven-game losing streak.

Phoenix tied the record of 17 straight wins set during the2006-07 season by defeating Golden State 104-96 on Tuesday. The Suns held the Warriors to 61 points after the first quarter and outscored them 24-18 in the fourth.

"We're an improving defensive team," coach Monty Williams said. "To me, this was just will and toughness. Not a lot of scheme, not a lot of play calls, the guys willed themselves to a victory."

Deandre Ayton led the way with 24 points.

"He's imposing his will in a number of ways," Williams said. "He realizes how much stronger he is, especially against smaller guys. He generates a lot of offense with his dives. He's pretty efficient and he's unselfish."

The Suns got past Golden State without their star on the court in the second half. Devin Booker suffered a hamstring injury and his status for Thursday's game is uncertain, though ESPN reported Wednesday that Booker will miss "a few games."

Booker had surpassed the 30-point mark in his previous three games.

Mikal Bridges hounded the league's leading scorer, Stephen Curry, into a 4-for-21 shooting night. Curry finished with 12 points. Phoenix also got a gutty performance from point guard Chris Paul, who played 39 minutes and contributed 15 points and 11 assists.

The Suns will face the Warriors again on Friday.

Phoenix hasn't lost since it fell to Sacramento on Oct. 27. The streak began against Cleveland on Oct. 30, and the Suns have extended it the past two games against two premier clubs -- Brooklyn as well as Golden State.

Detroit will look to salvage the finale of a five-game road trip. It has lost to Milwaukee, both Los Angeles teams and Portland during the journey.

The Trail Blazers dominated them 110-92 on Tuesday despite the absence of perennial All-Star Damian Lillard and another starter, Norman Powell. Portland led by nine at halftime, then outscored the Pistons by 12 points in the third quarter.

"That's this league. If you don't enjoy and embrace adversity, you're not going to come out on the good end," coach Dwane Casey said. "That's what we're learning. Some guys brought it, but not enough when we faced adversity."

Cade Cunningham, the top pick in the 2021 draft, had a season-high 26 points and finally shot a good percentage, making all but three of his field goal attempts. He entered the game shooting 33.5 percent.

"He's coming around," Casey said. "He can't do it by himself. We've got to get some people to join the party and join the shot-making club. He's doing exactly what he's supposed to do as a young player in our league."

Cunningham wasn't particularly pleased with his offensive game, as he also committed six of the team's 19 turnovers.

"I think I shot the ball well," he said. "Taking care of the ball, I feel like I've got to take the lead and help cut down our team turnovers. That starts with me."

This is the first game of a two-game series. Phoenix will head to Detroit on Jan. 12.

--Field Level Media

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