Ayton and Holmes Notch Double-Doubles in Loss to Nets

by Cody Cunningham

It was a rough night for the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, but the performances from their big men helped provide a bright spot in the loss to the Nets.

Deandre Ayton continued his dominant play in the paint as he notched yet another double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The rookie’s six double-doubles this year are the most by a Suns player in the first 10 games of a season since Steve Nash had six in 2009-10. 

Even when Ayton wasn’t on the court, the Suns still received production from the center position. Richaun Holmes has been a spark of energy off the bench this season and Tuesday was no different.

“He’s been playing unbelievable,” Devin Booker said about Holmes. “He plays with heart every time he goes out there. He knows when he makes mistakes but he plays right through them. That’s what we need.”

Holmes battled his way to his seventh-career double-double and first as a Sun as he finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 85 percent from the field. Head Coach Igor Kokoškov gave credit to what Holmes provides in the team’s second unit. 

“His energy,” Kokoškov said. “He has to continue playing hard, challenging shots, show presence in the paint. I think he was engaged, he was trying, and that’s what we expect for him.” 

The 25-year-old center embraces his role and looks to continue to take advantage of his time on the court. 

“It’s fun to come in and try to help the guys pick up the energy, try to get a win,” Holmes said. “It’s always fun to step on the court and play.” 

After winning the previous game in the final seconds, the Suns weren’t able to pull off back-to-back victories as they fell to the Nets 104-82. Booker said following the game that the key going forward is to hold each other accountable on the court. 

“I think all good teams have that trust and chemistry where everybody can get on each other and know that it’s for a better purpose,” Booker said.

The Suns will wrap up their five-game homestand on Thursday when the Boston Celtics come to town. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.

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