Suns center Aron Baynes has career night in win over Trail Blazers
Phoenix Suns center Aron Baynes had a career night in Phoenix’s 127-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Baynes finished with a career-high 37 points after going 12-of-23 from the field (52%), including going 9-of-14 (64.3%) from beyond the arc to tie a franchise record for the most 3-pointers made in a single game.
“If you go out there and play within [head coach Monty Williams’] system, he usually puts you in a place to succeed,” Baynes said after the game.
“That’s all I was trying to do is play within the system. Big credit to the guys with the ball in their hand a lot. They were getting blitzed, [Devin Booker] was making great decisions — Ricky (Rubio) continuing to do the same. When those guys facilitate, it leaves a lot of guys wide open and you just have to step in and try to knock down those shots.”
Prior to Friday, the 33-year-old had made a total of just four threes in his six-year NBA career.
He also joins Houston Rockets guard James Harden as the only players in NBA history to have 37-plus points, 16-plus rebounds and eight-plus made threes in one game.
The Australian picked up 19 of those points in just 10 minutes on the floor in the first quarter by shooting 6-of-7 from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range to which came in the 1st quarter.
“He got the guys going when he started dropping a few of them,” Williams said of Baynes after the game.
“Then we started running a few plays for him. I thought the big play was the one time he pump-faked and went down the lane and dunked it. That was a great read and I thought he made the right plays tonight. He didn’t force many shots and the guys started looking for him.”
Baynes also tallied one steal, two blocks and 16 rebounds on the night, seven of which came in the 1st quarter.
Despite center Deandre Ayton being ruled out prior to the game due to an ankle injury, Williams said that Baynes wasn’t going to get normal starter minutes.
Williams’ plan for Baynes didn’t go as expected, as he led all players in minutes played on the night with 36.
“If a guy makes that many threes, he can stay on the floor as long as he wants,” Williams said.