Suns Red-Hot Shooting Leads to Victory Over Blazers

Kelly Oubre Jr. Mikal Bridges
by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns franchise record for the most three-pointers in a game is 22. During Saturday night’s preseason action against the Portland Trail Blazers, the team hit 24. While it may not count towards the regular season record, one thing is certain, the Suns have the ability to be lethal from deep this year.

General Manager James Jones made it a priority in the offseason to bring in shooters and follow the league’s trend of more three-pointers. Just three games into preseason, it seems he can check that off his list.

A breakdown of the first-year Suns’ three-point shooting on Tuesday:

Aron Baynes (via trade): 2-of-5

Jevon Carter (via trade): 1-of-3

Ty Jerome (via draft): 1-of-4

Cam Johnson (via draft): 4-of-6

Frank Kaminsky (via free agency): 4-of-7

Dario Šarić (via trade): 3-of-3

Combine the new faces in The Valley, with the returning players in Mikal Bridges (2-of-4), Kelly Oubre Jr. (3-of-5) and Tyler Johnson (4-of-6) and the Suns made 24-of-45 (53.3%) attempts from deep.

“It’s contagious,” Tyler Johnson said. “Once you see one go in or somebody else gets in rhythm, it’s contagious throughout the whole team.”

The Suns were without three of their core players in Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio, but rallied together for an impressive 134-118 victory over the Trail Blazers. 

“I just saw everybody kind of playing together,” Oubre said. “The ball was on a string. ‘0.5’ was very crucial tonight. We were moving it, getting open shots and I think that’s why we were able to knock them down.”

The Suns beat-out the Blazers in almost every statistical category including rebounds (43 to 41), assists (29 to 26) and steals (10 to 6). The team spread the wealth as seven players for the Suns scored in double-digits including Oubre (19), Cam Johnson (18), Tyler Johnson (18), Kaminsky (16), Baynes (14), Šarić (13), Bridges (13).

While the offense was hitting on all cylinders, Head Coach Monty Williams gave credit to the defense for securing the win.

“For me, it was our defense being able to stop the ball,” Coach Williams said. “I thought we contested tough shots…I think our defense tonight was as solid as it’s been since Flagstaff against a really good team. I think CJ [McCollum] and Dame [Lillard] played 30 minutes tonight. So, that was a good test for us.”

The trio of Kaminsky and both Johnsons shined off the bench and were key in the victory. Kaminksy was not only locked-in from deep, but also dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds. Cam Johnson and Tyler Johnson not only share a last name, but also shared a stat line as both players had 18 points on 6-9 FG, 4-6 3PT and 2-2 FT.

The Suns return to Phoenix for their final preseason matchup on Monday as they tip-off against the Denver Nuggets at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

FINAL STAT LINES:

Oubre: 19 pts, 5-11 FG, 3-5 3PT, 6-6 FT, 1 blk, 1 stl.

C. Johnson: 18 pts, 6-9 FG, 4-6 3PT, 2 rebs

T. Johnson: 18 pts, 6-9 FG, 4-6 3PT, 3 rebs

Kaminsky: 16 pts, 4-7 FG, 8 asts, 6 rebs

Baynes: 14 pts, 5-9 FG, 4 rebs, 3 asts

Šarić: 13 pts, 5-8 FG, 3-3 3PT, 8 rebs, 2 stls

Bridges: 13 pts, 5-9 FG, 2-2 FT, 4 rebs, 3 asts

Jerome: 8 pts, 5 asts, 4 rebs, 2 blks

Carter: 3 pts, 6 asts, 2 stls

Diallo: 7 pts, 5 rebs, 1 stl

 

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