PHOENIX SUNS

Shamet punches dunk on Pelicans’ Hayes, who is ejected minutes later

Apr 22, 2022, 8:05 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2022, 1:14 am
Landry Shamet #14 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA preseason game at Footprint Center on October ...
Landry Shamet #14 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA preseason game at Footprint Center on October 06, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Lakers 117-105. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Landry Shamet went from three-point savant to dunking dynamo.

The Phoenix Suns backup shooting guard started the first-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans out of the rotation, but upon Devin Booker going down with a hamstring injury in Game 2, Shamet has emerged as an aggressive rim-rocker.

He had already taken two baseline drives for dunks in the past few days but then raised the bar even more in the first-half of Game 3 on Friday, which Phoenix won 114-111.

Shamet raced down the court off a New Orleans turnover. Despite the athletic Jaxson Hayes closing on him, Shamet opted to punch one, drawing the foul on Hayes in the process.

Hayes was involved in two altercations after the play. Immediately after Shamet’s slam, Hayes and Mikal Bridges had words as the officials broke up a minor gathering of players.

Minutes later, referees went to the replay screen after Hayes pushed Suns forward Jae Crowder on a rebound attempt. Hayes was given a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected, while Crowder earned a technical for reacting. Hayes left with four points and six rebounds.

It appeared to act as a turning point for a Suns team that had struggled to show the same pop displayed in the dominant first half of a Game 1 victory.

Phoenix went on a 16-5 run after Hayes’ ejection to lead 59-48 at halftime.

It was led by Deandre Ayton, who had 28 points, 17 rebounds and three steals by the end of the night. Chris Paul matched him with 28 points — 19 coming in the fourth — and added 14 assists.

And for those of you keeping count of Shamet’s big plays of late, here are his other two contested dunks over the past two games.

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Shamet punches dunk on Pelicans’ Hayes, who is ejected minutes later