Deandre Ayton misses first game of season with left knee soreness

From NBA.com News Services

The Suns will miss Ayton’s presence against the Blazers, who have won nine of their last 11.

Phoenix’s nationally televised 118-117 win over Portland on Thursday took place without the team’s former No. 1 overall pick.

Deandre Ayton was a late scratch due to left knee soreness, a development Suns coach Monty Williams told reporters surfaced when the 22-year-old arrived at that day’s shootaround. The 6-foot-11 big man is averaging 14.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks for the resurgent Suns, who entered Thursday night in second place in the Western Conference.

The Suns’ win over Portland carries enormous ramifications up and down the playoff landscape. Phoenix still has an outside chance at catching Utah for first place, while the Blazers are in the midst of a three-team battle for fifth, sixth, and seventh.

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