Jalen Smith gets 1st career double-double in 1st start for Suns

May 16, 2021, 1:10 PM | Updated: 9:37 pm

Jalen Smith #10 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks at PHX Arena o...

Jalen Smith #10 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks at PHX Arena on December 23, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 106-102. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns sat some key players for the last game of the regular season and it gave others an opportunity for some playing time.

First-round pick Jalen Smith was the main beneficiary, as he went from never being in the rotation to start against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. He took advantage with his first career double-double in a 123-121 Suns win.

Smith finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The rookie out of Maryland got to show off some of his strong finishing ability at the rim.

His teammates very much enjoyed it.

Smith started at power forward alongside center Dario Saric and got to show off some of his defensive chops too.

The Suns’ Chris Paul and Devin Booker got some rest and Jae Crowder managed his right ankle while Deandre Ayton (left knee soreness), Cam Johnson (right wrist sprain) and Abdel Nader (knee surgery) remained out. Mikal Bridges only played five minutes, maintaining his run of not missing a game since high school.

After the Spurs rested a handful of players in the Suns’ win over them on Saturday, most of San Antonio’s key players returned on Sunday.

Despite this, a 37-24 Suns third quarter gave Phoenix all the momentum and it was clearly the side of the two more invested in a win. San Antonio entered play on Saturday already being locked in at the 10th spot in the Western Conference standings.

E’Twaun Moore hit a three-pointer with two seconds left to give the Suns a two-point lead and the win. He scored a team-high 22 points.

The Suns can be the No. 1 seed if the Utah Jazz lose Sunday night to the Sacramento Kings.

Phoenix Suns

Tyler Kolek...

Arizona Sports

NBA Draft prospect, potential Suns target Tyler Kolek visits the Valley

Tyler Kolek, a guard from Marquette and potential first-rounder, has been linked to the Suns and added more fuel to the fire on Tuesday.

9 hours ago

Bronny James of the USC Trojans...

Kevin Zimmerman

Bronny James rumors further attach to the Suns a week from the NBA Draft

Bronny James will reportedly work out for the Suns again. But there's a lot more noise around him and Phoenix's NBA team.

11 hours ago

Bronny James...

Arizona Sports

Report: Suns to host 2nd workout with NBA Draft prospect Bronny James

The Phoenix Suns will host a second pre-draft workout with USC prospect Bronny James this week, ESPN analyst Jonathan Givony reported. 

13 hours ago

Tyler Kolek #11 of the Marquette Golden Eagles shoots a free throw in the first half of the game ag...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Is Tyler Kolek the right PG for Suns in 2024 NBA Draft?

The overarching storyline of the Phoenix Suns' offseason is they need a point guard. But is Tyler Kolek the right fit?

16 hours ago

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is defended by P.J. Washington #25 of the D...

Kellan Olson

One big offseason question for each Suns competitor in the Western Conference

The Phoenix Suns' fellow contenders in the Western Conference all have offseason options. Here's a preview as we look to 2024-25.

21 hours ago

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum celebrates after scoring during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA ba...

Associated Press

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with Game 5 victory over Mavericks

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics topped the Mavericks to break tie with Lakers for most titles.

1 day ago

Jalen Smith gets 1st career double-double in 1st start for Suns