Top 10 Suns individual performances from 2019-20 season
As the NBA continues to grapple with how to best proceed as the coronavirus has put play to a stop, let’s take a look at the top 10 Phoenix Suns individual performances this season.
Guard Devin Booker appears on this list frequently, but with a roster much more well-rounded than the past several years, there were multiple players who could emerge as a star on any given night.
In chronological order, here are some of the top performances from the season. The Suns are 26-39, their best record since 2014-15.
Click on the header of each game to read the full Arizona Sports recap, most of which are written by Kellan Olson.
Center Aron Baynes, starting for the fourth game of the Deandre Ayton suspension, scored 10 first-quarter points and hit two 3-pointers. He helped the Suns go ahead by 29 points in the first quarter and take a 72-46 lead into the half.
He finished the game with 24 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks as the Suns won 121-110.
It was the first time he scored 20 points as a Sun and helped establish himself as a fan-favorite moving forward.
Entering this game, the Philadelphia 76ers were the final undefeated team in the league. After the game, there wasn’t a team without a loss.
Booker had 40 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter, and he played particularly strong defense down the stretch, helping his performance be a national talking point the next day.
After the game, head coach Monty Williams called him “a complete basketball player.”
Tyler Johnson noted his scoring: “As far as just pure scorer, I think he’s probably the best I’ve seen.”
Devin Booker nearly put up a triple-double as he had 44 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in a Suns overtime victory over the Pelicans. He made 13 of 23 shots from the field and had five 3-pointers.
He came to life in the third quarter, scoring 21 to give the Suns a sizable lead, and they would need every point as they blew that lead in the fourth quarter. But it was enough to keep them alive and get to overtime, where they won 139-132.
It was a wake-up for Booker, who had scored less than 20 in three of his last five games.
As Olson wrote: “It was good to see Devin Booker looking like the bad man again.”
The Suns took care of business against the Knicks, and Ayton stole the show. He had 26 points and 21 rebounds to go with two blocks and made 11 of 15 shots.
But that’s not all. By this point, Ayton had been showing defensive progress, as Olson noted in his recap.
Ayton with the rejection👀 pic.twitter.com/EVkk6BZ3vZ
— Off the Glass (@otgbasketball) January 17, 2020
All in all, this was a strong game for the Suns. It’s tough to choose just one player for a shout-out, as Rubio had 25 points, 13 assists, eight rebounds and four steals, and Booker had 29 points, but the first 20/20 game of a career is noteworthy.
Booker led the Suns offensively as the Suns eked out a 103-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The All-Star had 35 points and 10 assists.
Twenty of those points came in the second half and nine came in the final quarter. He was 11-for-20 from the field.
He fouled out with 1:31 to go, but the Suns were able to hang on and get their first win in San Antonio since 2013.
The Rockets could not stop Kelly Oubre in a 127-91 shellacking done by the Suns.
Oubre scored 39 points on 14-for-19 shooting and made seven of the nine 3-pointers he attempted. He also had nine rebounds.
He outplayed James Harden (32 points) and made Booker’s 33 points more or less an afterthought as the Suns beat the Russell Westbrook-less Rockets.
It wasn’t quite a 20/20 game, but Ayton can be more than satisfied with his performance in the 112-104 win over the Bulls.
He had 28 points and 19 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive boards. He finished 12-for-16 from the field and had three blocks.
It was another strong team performance as Booker had 29 points and Rubio had 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.
Utah must miss its old point guard after this performance.
Ricky Rubio had 22 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and seven steals as he led the Suns to a 131-111 win over the Jazz.
He was effective from all over, getting to the line consistently as he went 8-for-9 from the stripe and made two of his three 3-pointers. He and Oubre both had a ridiculous plus-31.
Aron Baynes posted a career night against the Portland Trail Blazers, making nine 3-pointers as he scored 37 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and had two blocks. He shot 12-for-23 from the field.
Baynes was looking like a guard out there as he pump faked and got to the rim in one play and pulled a step-back 3 out of his bag for another.
The Suns beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 127-117.
Prior to the game, Williams said he didn’t plan to play Baynes a full 35 minutes. He played 36 instead. “When a guy makes that many threes, he can stay on the floor as long as he wants,” Williams said.
The Suns flat-out pounded the Milwaukee Bucks, beating the sans-Giannis Antetokounmpo team 140-131.
There are several players who can be mentioned: Booker scored 36, 20 of which came in the first quarter. Mikal Bridges had 21 points and 10 rebounds and played his usual strong defense. Baynes scored 24 and Jevon Carter had a strong 12 off the bench.
We’ll give the nod to Rubio, though, who put up a triple-double with 25 points and 13 assists and rebounds apiece and didn’t let the Suns flounder when Booker was subbed out with foul trouble.