PHOENIX SUNS

Replay helps Suns G Cam Payne appreciate Torrey Craig’s Game 1 dunk

Jun 9, 2021, 11:57 AM
Torrey Craig #12 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks the ball over JaMychal Green #0 of the Denver Nugge...
Torrey Craig #12 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks the ball over JaMychal Green #0 of the Denver Nuggets after a pass from Cameron Payne #15 during the second half in Game One of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on June 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns point guard Cam Payne had quite the view of teammate Torrey Craig’s alley-up dunk that blew the top off Phoenix Suns Arena on Monday.

But the punctuating mark of the Suns’ Game 1 victory against the Denver Nuggets wasn’t savored in the moment by Payne — even though he was the dude who set Craig up for the highlight slam that went viral for, if not the dunk itself, the fan reaction it created.

“The crazy part about it, I didn’t see or I didn’t feel as much of the crazy reaction until I watched it on the my phone after the game,” Payne said Wednesday before Game 2. “I was like, ‘Ah, man, that play was really crazy.’ But in the midst of the game, sometimes it’s hard to really get a feel for the play.

“It was a great play. I felt like we were already going. I felt like that was icing on the cake to really have us sound — and the fans were in it.”

The lead-in to the dunk itself helped amplify the play. The Suns were rolling, already up 16 points in the fourth quarter against Denver having fought back from a brief double-digit second-half deficit.

A steal on the other end of the court had Phoenix outnumbering the Nuggets on a 3-2 break.

Craig even raised his hand, making it clear to everyone in the arena that a lob was upcoming.

“When I brought it down (the court), I seen his hand go up. That was the green light of throwing it up there, he gonna get it. I’m living with the results,” Payne said. “I’m going to throw it up there where nobody else can get it.”

Craig finished with authority, hanging on the rim as fans went wild in the stands.

The gravity, and the energy of the play, came through on television just as Payne said.

TNT play-by-play man Kevin Harlan, who put on a huge performance himself on Monday, was on point, telling the TV audience to “hold on” as Craig took off.

The camera catching young fans losing their minds immediately afterward allowed the moment to reverberate, too.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Suns

Bill Russell, left, star of the Boston Celtics is congratulated by coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach afte...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA retires No. 6 jerseys, to add jersey patch honoring late Bill Russell

Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey is the first to be retired across the NBA. Players will wear the patch on the shoulders this year.
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the first half of Game One of the Western Confere...
Kevin Zimmerman

ESPN’s NBA staff still mighty high on 2022-23 Phoenix Suns

If you were wondering why the Suns have attacked the offseason with tinkering, it might be time to remember the past two full seasons.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
2 days ago
Kevin Durant attends "NYC Point Gods" premiere at Midnight Theatre on July 26, 2022 in New York Cit...
Dan Bickley

Kevin Durant’s exit could get messy for Nets, maybe Suns, too

By my calculations, there is only one way Durant lands in Phoenix. There must be a second act of petulance even worse than the first.
3 days ago
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets drives to the basket as Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns defe...
Arizona Sports

Report: Kevin Durant tells Nets owner to pick him or coach, GM

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant reportedly met with team owner Joe Tsai in London on Saturday and reiterated his trade request.
4 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns warms up before the game against the Sacramento Kings at Gold...
Sam Graveline

ESPN’s Pelton gives Phoenix Suns ‘C+’ offseason grade

Despite the Phoenix Suns being among the few teams to dominate the offseason news cycle, ESPN's Kevin Pelton gave them a C+ grade.
4 days ago
Replay helps Suns G Cam Payne appreciate Torrey Craig’s Game 1 dunk