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Suns' Deandre Ayton exits early with ankle sprain vs. Pistons

The Suns' starting center suffered an ankle injury in the 1st quarter vs. Pistons on Sunday.

Deandre Ayton suffers ankle sprain in 1st quarter and will not return vs. Pistons.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton exited the game in the first quarter with an apparent ankle injury against the Detroit Pistons and was ruled out for the remainder of the matchup, according to the team. Coach Monty Williams brought in veteran JaVale McGee and the Suns notched a wire-to-wire 135-108 victory over the Pistons on Sunday.

Before leaving the game, Ayton scored six points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field. Aside from McGee, backup big men Jalen Smith (14 minutes, three points, seven rebounds, two blocks) and Bismack Biyombo (13 minutes, seven points, four rebounds, one block) logged time against the Pistons.

This season, Ayton is averaging 17.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. In total, Ayton has missed 14 games this season — six for a right leg contusion, five in Health and Safety Protocols, two for a non-COVID illness and one for reconditioning.