Ayton Scores 25 Points with a Double-Double vs Warriors

by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns continued their longest homestand of the season as the Golden State Warriors came to town for a New Year’s Eve matchup on Monday.

After scoring a career-high 33 points in the Suns previous game, Deandre Ayton looked to build off his success as his impressive rookie season continues to unfold. 

However, it was Devin Booker and T.J. Warren starting things off for the Suns as the duo scored a combined 15 points in the first quarter as the team was only down by four against the reigning champions. 

Ayton stepped up in the second quarter, including hitting a couple free throws five minutes in to tie the game up at 39. The Suns would go on to tie the game twice more during the first half, but could never regain the lead.

With under two minutes remaining, the Warriors got hot and went on a 10-0 run to end the half. They took a 17-point lead into the break as the game was beginning to look out of reach.

The Suns fought back with the second half score remaining close to even, but couldn’t seem to overcome the Warriors late run in the second quarter as they fell to Golden State 132-109.

Ayton scored a team-high 25 points on 52.9 percent shooting while also notching his rookie-leading 23rd double-double with 10 rebounds. Over his last eight games, the Big Fella is averaging 21.4 points, 14.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals and a block on 68.1 percent from the field.

“I just put up a lot of shots in my off time, especially when I’m tired,” Ayton said. “I just go to the gym a lot and put up a lot of shots, like a lot. I just work on my hook shots and post moves just when I’m bored. Something to do, just go back in the gym and work on something. Stay consistent.”

Warren scored 24 points to go along with his four rebounds, four assists and a steal. Kelly Oubre Jr. once again led the way in the second unit scoring 15 points with three rebounds.

The Suns will continue this homestand as the Philadelphia 76ers come to town for the first game of 2019 at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.