Deandre Ayton Scores Career-High in Suns Loss to Pistons

Deandre Ayton Pistons
by Cody Cunningham

It was a homecoming for Devin Booker and Josh Jackson on Sunday as the Suns wrapped up their road trip in Detroit against the Pistons.

Booked looked to put on a show in front of his friends and family as he scored 15 points in just the first quarter while shooting six-of-seven from the field.

Trevor Ariza forced a steal off Andre Drummond late in the first to reach 1,440 career-steals. He passed Jerome Kersey as he entered the top 50 in NBA history in all-time steals.

T.J. Warren was ejected midway through the second quarter as the Suns would be without one of their top weapons for the remainder of the game. 

The Suns were down by eight with under two minutes to go in the half, but then Jamal Crawford decided to take over. Crawford was coming off a game-winner in the Suns previous game against the Bucks and the 19-year vet wasn’t going to let this one get away from them. 

With 1:40 on the clock, Crawford pulled up from behind the arc and drilled the three-point shot. Not only was this a momentum swing for Phoenix, but it was also a huge milestone for Crawford as it notched him his 19,000th point.

“That’s a lot of points,” Crawford said. “Obviously you have to play a long time to be able to sustain things like that, but it’s weird because I don’t really look back right now because I’m still in the moment. I’m very appreciative every time I hear a new name… It’s a humbling experience.”

Crawford became just the 56th player in NBA history to ever reach the 19,000 mark.

“It’s so unbelievable. He’s a basketball legend,” Booker said about Crawford. “He’s a Hall of Famer in my eyes. He has the resume to prove that.” 

Crawford wasn’t done yet though as he knocked down three consecutive three-pointers in a span of 48 seconds. This brought the Suns back in the game as they entered the half with just a slim deficit of 62-60. The Suns managed to score 60-plus points in every single first half on this road trip. 

The team continued their push in the third quarter as they took a 84-83 lead into the final frame.

The Suns battled throughout the entire fourth quarter, but it seemed every time they began to gain momentum, the Pistons would hit a big shot and continue to pull away. Ultimately, the Suns just didn’t have enough to make the comeback as they fell to the Pistons 118-107.

“I think we competed,” Head Coach Igor Kokoškov said. “I can’t say that effort wasn’t there. The energy was there. We tried to keep that momentum going. I think we just ran out of gas.”

Booker finished just one-point shy of a season-high as he scored 37 points for his fourth 30-point game of the season. He also dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds. 

Deandre Ayton had a tough matchup in the paint going against one of the leagues best front courts in Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. The rookie did more than hold his own as he scored a career-high 25 points with 12 rebounds and another career-high three blocked shots. Ayton notched his rookie-leading 11th double-double in just 19 games.

The Suns will return home to Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday as the team tips-off against the Indiana Pacers. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona. 


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