By the numbers: Suns’ franchise-best winning streak comes to close
The Phoenix Suns will have to start a new winning streak after theirs was broken Friday night against the Golden State Warriors.
It lasted 18 games, the longest in franchise history and one fewer than Phoenix’s win total just three seasons ago in 2018-19.
The stretch was not adversity-free, either.
The Suns won five of the games without starting center Deandre Ayton and closed out the Warriors last Tuesday despite not having star shooting guard Devin Booker for the second half.
Phoenix and Golden State have separated themselves as the top-two squads in the Western Conference through the first couple months of the season with the 19-4 Suns in the two-seed.
The Suns’ streak by the numbers:
The Suns had to finish off some tight battles during the streak, winning just eight of 18 games by double figures.
Phoenix won five games by five or fewer points, which tested their ability to execute down the stretch.
That was where many Suns stepped up, including point guard Chris Paul who shot 67% from the field in clutch minutes (five minutes or fewer in the game, score within five points).
Booker caught fire in big spots, shooting 73.3% from the floor and 60% on 3s.
While the Suns did not dominate their opponents on a nightly basis, they did show grit in high-leverage situations. That could be a good sign moving forward.
Booker, the most recent Western Conference Player of the Week, led the way with 24.5 points per game during the streak before suffering a hamstring injury Tuesday night.
He eclipsed 25 points in eight times and dropped 30 in three straight games en route to his award.
Booker also made some eye-opening plays during the stretch:
Booker and the Suns look to tie the franchise record with 17 straight wins tonight, as they host the West-leading Warriors at 10 PM ET on TNT! pic.twitter.com/2JJZnRIUVa
— NBA (@NBA) November 30, 2021
The Suns have the third-best defensive rating while allowing the seventh-fewest points per game at 105.1.
Phoenix held opponents under 100 points in eight of the 18 wins, including five out of six at one point.
Most recently, the Suns kept the Warriors from reaching the century mark last Tuesday. MVP candidate Stephen Curry scored just 12 points on 21 shots and was shut out when guarded by forward Mikal Bridges.
Phoenix went 16-0 in November. Only five other teams in NBA history went 16-0 in a month, according to Stat Muse.
Those teams were:
- Lakers in December 1971
- Spurs in March 1996
- Clippers in December 2012
- Spurs in March 2014
- Warriors in November 2015
The Lakers and 2014 Spurs went on to win the NBA Finals while the Warriors finished the season 73-9.