Jackson Steps Up in Suns Preseason Matchup vs Blazers

by Cody Cunningham

With no Devin Booker or T.J. Warren in the Suns preseason matchup against the Trail Blazers, Josh Jackson had no problem stepping in as the primary scorer for the Suns on Wednesday.

“It’s interesting, when players are out you like to see who naturally steps up,” Head Coach Earl Watson said. “You can’t create that. You can’t tell a guy, ‘tonight you’re going to be the guy.’ You just have to see who kind of takes it over. It’s kind of like the alpha dog mentality.

Jackson filled the stat sheet, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and blocked shot. Although the Suns fell 113-104, Jackson showed Suns fans a glimpse of what he is capable of when he steps on the court.

“Just a little bit of everything. He’s got a lot to his game,” Watson said. “Tonight I thought he led us as best as he could for it only being his fourth game of his NBA career.”

The rookie is currently averaging 15.25 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.25 steals, and a block throughout preseason.

Watson pointed out that he was most impressed by Jackson’s three-point shooting. Jackson feels confident in his shot hitting 46 percent from deep thus far.

Mike James has provided a spark off the bench for the Suns this preseason and it wasn’t any different on Wednesday. Watson described James as a crafty veteran rookie as the 27-year-old put up 19 points off the bench.

“That’s an important role on a team,” James said in reference to being a spark. “I’d glady do it.”

The Suns gear up for their final preseason matchup on Friday as they host the Brisbane Bullets from Australia's NBL. Catch the action on FOX Sports Arizona.