Baynes Three-Point Shooting Leads Suns in Victory Over Grizzlies

Aron Baynes
by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns defeated the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday and looked to close-out the road trip with a sweep as they traveled to Memphis to tip-off against the Grizzlies on Saturday. 

Devin Booker opened the game for the Suns, knocking down a midrange jumper on their first possession. Aron Baynes battled his way to the free throw line on the Suns next chance up the court, but it was just the beginning for both Baynes’ and Booker’s big nights.

The Suns took off on a 13-2 run midway through the first to push ahead of Memphis. By the end of the quarter, the Suns led 31-24 behind Frank Kaminsky (10 points) and Booker (9 points). The Grizzlies answered with a 19-5 run of their own in the second quarter, including a Jaren Jackson Jr. three-pointer to give them a 47-45 lead entering halftime.

Kelly Oubre Jr. only had two points at half, but as seen in the past, when the man known as Tsunami Papi heats up, the entire team follows. The battle of runs continued as the Suns went on another 19-3 run in the third led quarter by nine points from Oubre. The Suns held an 82-69 lead after scoring 37 points in the third, but with 12 minutes remaining, needed to stay locked in. 

The team opened up the fourth with a three-point contest of their own as three of their first four buckets came from downtown with two from Tyler Johnson and one from Baynes. The big man from Australia wasn’t done there though as just a few possessions later, Baynes launched from deep again to drain his career-high fourth three-pointer of the game. After scoring 24 points vs Golden State, Baynes now had 20 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career. 

While the Grizzlies teased a slight comeback, a Dario Šarić three-pointer with a minute and a half left sealed the fate and secured the victory for the Suns. Phoenix defeated Memphis 121-110 behind 41-combined points from Booker and Baynes and now sit at 4-2 on the season.

KEY STAT: 

The Suns knocked-down 14 three-pointers against the Grizzlies and have now made at least 13 threes in a franchise-long four straight games.

TOP PERFORMERS:

Booker: 21 points, 3-3 three-pointers, 2 assists

Baynes: 20 points, 4-of-7 three-pointers, 4 assists, 1 steal

Oubre: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists

Kaminsky: 14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block

Rubio: 11 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals

Bridges: 10 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals

Tyler Johnson: 9 points, 3-3 three-pointers, 5 assists

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:

BAYNES ON HIS TEAMMATES: We’ve got great players out there. Everyone’s focused on them and they’re creating a lot of shots and opportunities us. When we’ve got that ball swinging and moving, it’s fun out there and we have full confidence in anyone that they’re going to step up and knock down those shots. 

BAYNES ON THE TRADE TO PHOENIX: After one phone call I was excited to come down here. Talking to James and Monty and just understanding that it was a new system, new coaches, new players. I wanted to come in here and try and impart some of what I’ve learned along the way. It’s been a good learning experience, but at the same time we’re excited because we’ve got so much room for improvement as well. It’s good to go out there and get these early wins, but the amount of improvement we’ve shown game-to-game, we’re going to keep getting better.

WHAT’S NEXT: 

The Suns return home on Monday as the team tips-off against the Philadelphia 76ers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.

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