Trevor Ariza to miss second game when the Phoenix Suns host OKC

Nov 16, 2018, 2:25 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm

Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza drives past Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the se...

Phoenix Suns forward Trevor Ariza drives past Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

For the second consecutive game, small forward Trevor Ariza will sit out due to personal matters as the Phoenix Suns host Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday evening.

While Ariza has remained in communication with head coach Igor Kokoskov, his timeline for return has yet to be determined.

“We spoke with Trevor yesterday, he’s still uncertain right now,” Kokoskov said. “He’s not with us and usually we stay with the group who practiced.”

Even without their starter, the Suns routed San Antonio 116-96 on Wednesday evening as franchise shooting guard Devin Booker set a career-high in assists with 12.

Rookie Mikal Bridges started in place of Ariza and put up a modest stat line of eight points and two rebounds in 25 minutes. Bridges seemed confident driving to the hoop and played some excellent defense on the perimeter but failed to replicate Ariza’s production from the wing.

Through 13 games, Ariza is averaging 10.2 points per game on a career-low 36.8 percent shooting from the field. He also contributes 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per night while connecting on 34.2 percent of his threes.

Ariza has been the model of consistency over the last five seasons, playing in an average of 77.4 games per season for the last five years. His brief absence allows for a minutes increase for Phoenix’s young wings like former fourth overall pick Josh Jackson and 25-year-old T.J. Warren, who is having the most efficient season of his career.

Luckily for Kokoskov and the Suns, this roster has plenty of small forwards to make up for Ariza’s absence.

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