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Anthony Davis drops 53, Suns’ entire frontcourt fouls out in loss to Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) slam dunks between Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) and forward TJ Warren in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The Pelicans won 125-116. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

When Tyson Chandler is out of the lineup, the Phoenix Suns do not have any legitimate defensive options in the post.

That showed more than ever in the Suns’ 125-116 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans Monday, a loss in which the entire frontcourt fouled out trying to guard All-Star Anthony Davis.

Davis finished with 53 points and 17 rebounds. Whether it was Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss or Alex Len, none of them were able to either stop Davis or try and do so without fouling.

“He’s a tough cover, for sure,” Triano said after the game. “We tried to play him with different guys and got in foul trouble.”

The Pelicans’ star big man had 26 free throw attempts and the Suns as a team had 32.

Davis’ big-time performance overshadowed what was Devin Booker’s best game in the month of February.

Booker ended the game with 40 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, but the story was his first half. He had 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the first half alone.

Consistently playing through double-teams, though, and having to sprint across the floor to even find some looks while also working hard defensively appeared to wear out Booker in the second half.

For the second straight game, the Suns were the better team in the first half. They led 65-58 at halftime after being up by as many as 17.

A big third quarter from the Pelicans, however, would put them in the driver’s seat. They scored 38 in a 12-minute run the Suns couldn’t stop fouling in. Len picked up three fouls in less than 90 seconds to start the second half, Chriss ended the quarter with four fouls and Bender had five.

Surprisingly, the fourth quarter remained competitive. Phoenix kept the deficit lower than five points for a majority of it, but, once again, kept fouling.

Bender fouled out less than three minutes into the fourth quarter and Chriss followed 33 seconds later, picking up two fouls in five seconds.

Len would foul three more times in under four minutes and foul out with 4:45 left, leaving the Suns with no big men in a four-point game.

That, inevitably, led to the Pelicans pulling away and handing the Suns their 10th straight loss.

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