After a back-and-forth opening period in Phoenix, the Suns turned on the jets and zoomed past the best defense in the entire NBA, as the Indiana Pacers fell by a score of 124-100.
Phoenix exploded for 62 1st-half points against the vaunted Indiana defense, and they did it with hot shooting and extremely efficient play-making. The Suns shot a blistering 55% from the floor and 70% (yes, seventy) from 3-point range in route to a 13-point halftime lead, and after the half, Phoenix lengthened the lead to 21 with an 8-2 run in what seemed like the blink of an eye. From there, it was a cruise-control victory for the Suns, and while they couldn’t maintain their 20+-point lead, they were never seriously threatened.
In total, the Suns shot an incredible 54% from the floor and 68.8% from 3 on the way to those 124 points, and balance was the key. The starting backcourt of Gerald Green and Goran Dragic was absolutely huge throughout for Phoenix, and they represented the plurality of the scoring. Green, who is a former Pacer, finished with 23 points on 6-for-13 shooting (3-for-5 from three) and several highlight-level acrobatic plays, while Dragic continued his All-Star level season with 21 points on just 10 shots. The Suns didn’t stop there, though, as they placed 4 additional players in double-figures, including a 20-point effort from Markieff Morris.
On the Indiana side, this was a bit disconcerting. Winning on the road against a quality team is difficult in this league, but to see their highly-regarded defense allow 124 points isn’t exhilarating for Frank Vogel and company. Still, there were some bright spots, with Paul George continuing his big-time play (26 points, 7 rebounds) and as a team, the Pacers did manage to shoot nearly 51% from the floor on the offensive end.
One night doesn’t define any NBA team, but if this is the ceiling for the Phoenix Suns, it is pretty lofty.