Ayton Notches Tenth Double-Double in Hard-Fought Battle with Bulls

by Cody Cunningham

Following a hard-fought battle against the 76ers a few days prior, the Suns continued their Eastern Conference road trip as they traveled to Chicago to face the Bulls on Wednesday night. 

Deandre Ayton got things started for the Suns as he knocked down a hook shot for the team’s first points of the game. By the end of the quarter, Ayton already had eight points and seven rebounds as he helped lead the Suns to a 28-25 lead. 

Devin Booker caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 11 points in just that frame alone. He tallied a total of 14 points and five assists heading into halftime as the Suns gained a five-point advantage over the Bulls. 

The Bulls battled back during the third and looked to pull away early in the fourth quarter. They took a double-digit lead over the Suns, but with help of Jamal Crawford off the bench, the Suns weren’t out of it yet.

It seemed like any time the Bulls would pull away, Crawford would step up and hit a huge shot to bring the Suns right back into the game. He scored nine points in just the fourth quarter alone and 16 for the game. 

No shot for the Suns would be bigger on the night than T.J. Warren’s three-pointer with under a minute and a half to go to make it just a one possession game. This was Warren’s second three this game as he has now set a career-high for three-pointers in a season.

Unfortunately for the Suns, the Bulls would knock down their needed free throws to close out the game 124-116.

Booker scored a team-high 23 points for the Suns to go along with his six assists. Booker is one of just three players on this season averaging at least 23 points and seven assists. The other two are former MVPs, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Warren extended his career-long streak of 20-plus points to seven straight games as he scored 21 points while maintaining his 50-40-90 club percentages. 

Ayton continued his impressive rookie season as he notched his tenth double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. He also showed off his playmaking adding five assists in the contest.

“He gets better every game,” Booker said about Ayton. “It’s a learning experience for him each time around. Every time he goes out there he picks up on things. His timing and communications gets better every game.” 

Richaun Holmes provided a huge spark off energy off the bench with 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks in just 15 minutes.

The Suns will continue their Eastern Conference road trip as they travel to Milwaukee to face the Bucks on Friday. Be sure to catch the action of Fox Sports Arizona.

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