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Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton out against Trail Blazers Friday

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) looks to pass over Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Phoenix. The Raptors won 123-114. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton will not be available against the Portland Trail Blazers Friday night, head coach Monty Williams said before the game.

Ayton suffered a left ankle injury near the end of the game against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. He didn’t practice Wednesday but took the floor Thursday with no contact.

“I was glad that he got a chance to practice some yesterday,” Williams said Friday. “He didn’t do any contact. You’re always hopeful guys can play, especially when you have so many guys out, but it didn’t happen. At least it hasn’t yet. It’s just part of the year we’ve had.”

This is Ayton’s third known ankle sprain over the last two years. Last season, he missed six games in January and the final five games of the season after ankle twists.

Ayton is averaging 19 points, 12 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in his second season.

In his place, the Suns can play Aron Baynes, Dario Saric and Cheick Diallo at center.

Williams said Baynes won’t play a full starting load.

“The year has thrown a lot of breaking balls, curveballs, knuckleballs. The last thing you want to do is spike his minutes up and have him at 35 after not playing much,” Williams said. “I’m hopeful Cheick and Dario can spell him some so he doesn’t have to play a normal allotment.”

The Suns and Blazers game begins at 7 p.m. at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.


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