Ty Jerome & Suns Blowout Josh Okogie & Wolves on Virtual Hardwood

Suns Ty Jerome Josh Okogie
by Cody Cunningham

After making their digital premier on Friday, the Phoenix Suns took the virtual hardwood again Wednesday as they tipped-off against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but this time with a new face. Ty Jerome took control of the sticks for the Suns as he went head-to-head with Minnesota’s Josh Okogie on 2K20 streamed live on Twitch.

The first quarter and a half was a back-and-forth battle as both players needed some time to adjust to their digitized teammates, but once Jerome got comfortable, he began to heat up. The game was tied at 41 with only a few minutes remaining in the second, but Jerome took the Suns on a 7-0 run to end the half leading 48-41.

After dropping 43 points in Friday’s matchup against the Mavericks, Devin Booker picked up right where he left off. The All-Star guard already had 16 points at the break on 7-of-13 shooting.

Jerome was not only catching fire with the controller in his hands, but also on the virtual court. He guided himself on a one-man fast break in the third to push the Suns lead up to 13 as he began to pull away. 

Cam Johnson three-pointers, Jevon Carter’s hustle, and some nice Aron Baynes screens proved that Jerome definitely knew the ins-and-outs of his teammates’ games. And just like he does on the actual court, Booker closed it out in the clutch. With less than a minute remaining, Booker drained a three-pointer to ice the game as Jerome and the Suns blew out Okogie and the Timberwolves 93-63.

The Suns improve to 1-1 in streams and 3-0 against the Timberwolves this season, winning the first two meetings on the hardwood and the third on the sticks 

Booker scored a game-high 29 points on 12-21 FG. In two streams, he is averaging 36.0 points on 53.4% shooting and 5.5 assists. 

Johnson scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, leading seven different Suns reserves to score as the Suns’ bench combined for 41 points. While controlling the Suns, Ty Jerome scored 8 points and had 3 assists. He had 0 dunks despite his pleas to his virtual self to slam it down.

Defense was key in this matchup, especially from the Suns bigs. Deandre Ayton, Aron Baynes and Cheick Diallo combined for 7 steals and 3 blocks. The Suns as a whole held Josh Okogie and the Wolves to 63 points as D’Angelo Russell was held scoreless and Karl-Anthony Towns was forced to shoot 0-of-7 from the field. 

The Suns battle continued to the charity stripe and made the Timberwolves pay by shooting 16-of-17 from the free throw line (94.1%)—in actual NBA games played this season, the Suns lead the league by shooting 82.6%, the best free throw percentage in franchise history.

Jerome now has a 6-0 career record against Okogie as the Suns won the first two meetings against Minnesota this season and Jerome’s Virginia Cavaliers went 3-0 against Okogie’s Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from 2017-2018.

The Suns next matchup comes Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT as the team is prepared to tip-off against the Los Angeles Clippers on Twitch. Stay tuned on Suns social for more information on their upcoming matchup. 

FINAL STATS:

Booker: 29 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 12-21 FG, 4-4 FT

Johnson: 12 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 4-5 FG, 2-2 3PT

Šarić: 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 4-6 FG

Ayton: 8 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 block, 4-8 FG

Baynes: 8 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal

Jerome: 8 points, 3 assists, 3-6 FG

Carter: 6 points, 1 assists, 3 steals, 3-4 FG

Rubio: 5 points, 6 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal

Kaminsky: 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1-1 FG

Bridges: 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal

Diallo: 2 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals

Oubre: 1 point, 3 rebounds, 2 assists

Okobo: 1 rebound, 1 assist

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