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Cameron Payne out for Suns vs. Thunder due to left knee contusion

Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) drives as Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Jackson (1) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Suns point guard Cameron Payne is out for Sunday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a left knee contusion.

Payne originally popped up on Saturday’s injury report and was listed as questionable.

The 26-year-old hasn’t missed a game since mid-February after working his way back from a foot injury.

Payne is averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season, playing 17.4 minutes per night in a reserve role behind Chris Paul. Head coach Monty Williams has spoken highly of Payne’s ability to give the Suns a change of pace at lead guard, a key element of the second unit’s success this year.

When Payne was out injured and at times ineffective, Williams turned to veteran combo guard E’Twaun Moore, who could make his return on Sunday.

Moore hasn’t played in the last 26 games, with Payne, Jevon Carter and Langston Galloway wrapping up any guard minutes left up for grabs off the bench. Moore has played in 24 games this season, averaging 14.5 minutes and 4.3 points per outing.

Abdel Nader is still out after knee surgery while Jae Crowder has now missed six straight games with a sprained right ankle.

The Suns have nine regular-season games remaining on the schedule, with Sunday marking the first of a three-game road trip.

Tip-off is set for 5:00 p.m. and you can hear it on ESPN 620 AM.


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