On Friday, the Phoenix Suns snapped a three-game losing streak just two days after losing by 23 points.
Goran Dragic, who was sidelined for the previous game, could have been the difference.
The Suns’ star set his second career high of the week in his return to the court against the New Orleans Pelicans, which resulted in a 116-104 win for his team.
Here’s a closer look at the win, by the numbers:
Less than 1 percent separated the two teams when it came to field goal percentage on Friday, as the Suns logged a 54.1 percent clip from the floor and the Pelicans went 53.8 percent.
With No. 1 back on the floor for the Suns, the team looked much more complete Friday. In fact, when Dragic is playing, the Suns average 109.8 points per 100 possessions. When he’s on the bench, the team’s per-100 possession scoring drops to 98.8 points.
The Morris brothers, who poured in a combined 33 points for the Suns (18 – Markieff; 15 – Marcus) blocked four shots on the night — as many as Anthony Davis and the Pelicans had as a team.
In 24 minutes on the floor, Suns guard Ish Smith dished a game-high six assists on Friday, adding 10 points, a steal, and a pair of rebounds to the effort. Smith was 4-for-5 from the floor and 2-for-2 from the line.
Suns starting point guard Dragic — who was a game-time decision Friday, due to a lingering right ankle sprain — hit 14 of his 21 shots from the field in a game-high 42 minutes.
Davis, who, like Dragic, was a game-time decision Friday, tallied 32 points and came one rebound shy of recording a double-double.
A committee from the Suns bench including Marcus and Markieff Morris, Ish Smith and Archie Goodwin combined for 48 of the Suns’ 116 points on Friday. The Pelicans bench managed just 26.
The Suns have played on ESPN four times this season. In those four games, Dragic has scored a total of 122 points, including Friday’s 40-point effort and Sunday’s 35-pointer against the Houston Rockets.
Dragic’s 40-point night is the first such effort by a Suns player since March 19, 2010, when Amar’e Stoudemire had 44.