Thursday night’s NBA slate, following the mid-season trade deadline, was headlined by the Finals rematch between the Bucks and the Suns in Phoenix.
The first 22 minutes of the game were competitive and close, but after that, it was a no-contest as Phoenix registered a blowout 131-107 victory.
After being down by as many as six early in the second period, the Suns dominated over the middle two quarters when they outscored the Bucks 66-43.
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Suns extend league-wide domination
This victory, their 19th of the last 22 games, extends the Suns’ league-best record to 45-10, which is 4.5 games better than the second-best Golden State Warriors.
Phoenix have been nearly unstoppable since they turned things around from a slow 1-3 start. This win also extends the Suns’ dominant 19-3 record against East, which clearly seems to be better conference this season.
The Suns are 21-6 vs .500 teams this season.
No other team has 20 wins or single-digit losses vs winning teams.
In a class of their own. pic.twitter.com/O4J3cdIK5v
— StatMuse (@statmuse) February 11, 2022
Following Thursday night’s games, the Suns are owners of the league’s best net rating of 7.9.
“They’re the defending champs. We’re hurt. But from a confidence standpoint, yeah,” Suns head coach Monty Williams talking about the magnitude of this victory.
“DA was the reason we won this game, both offensively and defensively,” Chris Paul said postgame.
Not only did Deandre Ayton score a team-high 27 points but he was a huge reason why the Suns held Giannis Antetokounmpo – who was coming off a 44-point performance from a couple of days ago – to just 18 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the field.
Meanwhile, the Suns All-Star duo of Paul (17 points, 19 assists) and Devin Booker (17 points, seven assists) did their bit.
Devin Booker and Chris Paul have been on fire in their last 10 games🔥
Book: 29.5 PPG, 45.9 FG%
CP3: 19.4 PPG, 12.5 APG, 52.6 FG%
The Suns have the best record in the league at 45-10. pic.twitter.com/gW8910VQTs
— ESPN (@espn) February 11, 2022
This is Paul’s second 19-assist game while the rest of the league has a combined zero. He alone recorded more assists than the Bucks, who recorded 18 assists.
Paul did all this while only turning the ball just twice. He currently leads the league in assist/turnover ratio with 4.41 among prominent ball-handlers with substantial games and minutes.
On the other hand, while he only scored 17, Booker was coming off nine 30-point games in the past month.
Phoenix has three games remaining before the All-Star break with their remaining opponents being the Magic, Clippers and Rockets.