The Phoenix Suns were a little shorthanded Monday night, but still managed to beat the Boston Celtics 118-114 in the second game of a six-game road trip.
P.J. Tucker watched the game from the bench in street clothes, the result of him missing the team bus following the Suns’ loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles Saturday night.
Head coach Jeff Hornacek said there is no other issue with Tucker, but the veteran needed to atone for his mistake.
“He just missed the bus,” Hornacek told Doug and Wolf Tuesday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “We have rules and we want to try to establish those for guys, especially the young guys.
“P.J. is our leader. It was a one-time thing and I’m sure it’s not a big deal.”
With Tucker relegated to the role of spectator, rookie T.J. Warren played 12 minutes off the bench, and made an impact for Phoenix. The first-round draft pick from North Carolina State scored seven points, grabbed three rebounds and knocked down his first career three-pointer in the first significant playing time he’s seen this season.
“The kid can play,” Hornacek said. “He knows how to score.
“It’s tough with our team, with the amount of guys we have, to get him time, but he’s definitely a great player. He’s got a knack for the ball. He got a couple of rebounds that typically, other guys wouldn’t get. But he just knew where the ball was going to bounce and he got there and got the ball. It was a great lift he gave us.”
Warren, along with fellow rookie Tyler Ennis, was recalled from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League earlier Monday. In two games with Bakersfield, Warren averaged 36 points, six rebounds and shot 61 percent from the field.