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Alan Williams provides spark for Suns with double-double off bench in win over Pacers

Phoenix Suns forward Alan Williams (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Alan Williams has been productive for most of his collegiate and professional career.

He averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds a game in his final three seasons at UC Santa Barbara from 2012 to 2015, and after putting up big numbers in the NBA Summer League, he averaged 20.8 points and a league-leading 15.4 rebounds per game for the Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association in their 2015-16 season.

It was only a matter of time before that shined through in some amount of minutes for the Phoenix Suns, but no one would have guessed it would go down the way it did in Indianapolis against the Pacers Friday.

With Tyson Chandler out and Alex Len moving into the starting lineup, head coach Earl Watson elected to give the backup center minutes to Williams over rookie Dragan Bender, who had a two-game stretch earlier in the month playing the five when Chandler was not playing.

Williams thrived playing the increased minutes, scoring 15 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in 26 minutes in a 116-96 Suns win over Indiana, consistently being a nuisance around the basket with his activity.

Known as “Big Sauce,” Williams isn’t quick and can’t jump that high, but he works hard, has nice rebounding instincts and a soft touch, which he showed off multiple times Friday night.

Williams is known for his energy around the team, constantly making noise and reacting to plays from the bench. That’s assumedly why Williams got his first playing time early in a game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday when he played four minutes during a flat Suns effort in a 120-104 loss.

It looks like he made an impression on Watson in that time, and he undoubtedly did Friday. His performance was the fourth time a Suns player has had at least 15 points and 15 rebounds in a game since the 2010-11 season.

At 6-foot-8, Williams won’t provide much rim protection at center, but even that part of his game was going for him.

Even with the game out of reach, Williams’ motor never even thought about going down a pinch, showing the effort Suns fans love him for.

Williams was part of a massive 78-point contribution from the bench, the most bench points for the Suns since 1995.


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