EMPIRE OF THE SUNS

Turnovers, fouls once again an issue for Suns in loss to Pacers

Jan 15, 2019, 8:10 PM
Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) is defended by Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11...

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) is defended by Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

(AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

The Phoenix Suns did some bad young team things on Tuesday night and they picked the wrong team to be playing against when it was going on.

While we’ve seen some sloppy back-and-forth affairs, such as the three-OT loss to the Washington Wizards, the Indiana Pacers took advantage of nearly every mistake the Suns made.

Phoenix turned the ball over 19 times, Indiana scored 29 points off them and foul trouble was once again an issue in a 131-97 Suns loss.

It started in the first quarter, to no one’s surprise given the Suns’ track record in the opening 12 minutes. The Suns had 10 turnovers and the Pacers scored 15 of their 38 points off them to a 38-19 advantage.

Once the turnovers stopped, the Suns (11-34) were able to settle in. They recorded zero in the second quarter and outscored the Pacers 32-24 to make it a manageable 11-point deficit at halftime.

The Suns got sloppy again at the start of a half in the third quarter. Rotations on defense were lacking some of the crispness we’ve seen in recent weeks and the Pacers (29-14) wanted to run off every miss.

Indiana led by 23 with one quarter to go and poured it on in garbage time to extend the final deficit to 34.

Devin Booker, rocking a rare headband, was unable to get comfortable after a three-game absence due to back spasms. It didn’t help that the Pacers decided Booker was not going to beat them. When Indiana’s half-court defense was set, Booker was met with immediate extra attention if it was deemed necessary. Oh, yeah, and Booker was already being guarded by First Team All-Defense Pacers guard Victor Oladipo the majority of the night.

Booker had eight points on 4-of-12 shooting with five rebounds and five assists.

Fouls and free throws were a standout again. While the Suns often disagree on the court with some of the calls, a young team trying to play an aggressive brand of defense is often going to rack up fouls. That’s been the case in January. Including the Pacers loss, the Suns have committed at least 25 fouls in six of their last seven games and have reached 30 in three.

At the free throw line, the Pacers doubled the Suns’ attempts 36 to 18 while also converting on 75 percent to Phoenix’s 50 percent.

UP NEXT

The Suns are off on Wednesday before they take on the Toronto Raptors on the road at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. You can listen live on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) keeps the ball from Phoenix Suns' De'Anthony Melton (14) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) is defended by Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Phoenix Suns guard De'Anthony Melton (14) looks to pass the ball to a teammate during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Phoenix Suns forward Josh Jackson (20) is pulled away from the loose ball by Indiana Pacers guard Tyreke Evans (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) reacts after being called for a technical foul during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Phoenix Suns guard Elie Okobo (2) prepares to pass the ball to a teammate from the baseline during the first half of the Suns' NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Phoenix Suns forward Richaun Holmes dunks during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) falls backward as he works to get a shot off while being defended by Phoenix Suns guard Elie Okobo (2) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 131-97. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Indiana Pacers guard Tyreke Evans (12) is defended by Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 131-97. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner (33) shoots over the Phoenix Suns' defense during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 131-97. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (4) competes for the ball with Phoenix Suns forward Richaun Holmes (21) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 131-97. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan watches the team play the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 131-97. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler)

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