Phoenix Suns climb to No. 1 in latest power rankings

Apr 12, 2021, 12:12 PM | Updated: 12:34 pm

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura looks to pass as Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23)...

Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura looks to pass as Phoenix Suns forward Cameron Johnson (23), forward Dario Saric (20) and guard Cameron Payne (15) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, April 10, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

After knocking off the Utah in overtime on Wednesday, the Phoenix Suns leapfrogged the Jazz in’s latest power rankings.

Phoenix played four games last week, beating the Jazz, Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards, but losing to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

The loss to the Clippers snapped a seven-game win streak for Phoenix as they climbed to second place in the Western Conference standings.

The Utah matchup is also a favorable one because the Suns have two of the five guys who have shot better than 50% on at least 200 pull-up 2s. And on Wednesday, Chris Paul (9-for-16) and Devin Booker (6-for-12) were 15-for-28 on those shots against the Jazz’s drop coverage. Booker has had good numbers against the Clips, but the game in L.A. on Thursday got away from the Suns with him off the floor at the start of the third quarter. Since Jae Crowder’s move into the starting lineup in min-March, the team’s minutes with only one of Paul or Booker on the floor (-0.3 points per 100 possessions) haven’t been nearly as good as they were prior (+13.2)

Although the triumph over the Jazz did not vault the Suns into first place in the West, that did not stop them moving from second to first in the power rankings.

The Suns are in a position to carry over the top spot with four games left on a five-game homestand this week.

They start their defense of their home floor with back-to-back games against Houston and Miami on Monday and Tuesday. Then the week ends with Sacramento visiting on Thursday and San Antonio visiting on Saturday.

Miami is the only team on the Suns schedule this week with a winning record.

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