Suns, Bridges Come Up With Big 4th Quarter Defensive Effort
Mikal Bridges had the best playoff performance, and maybe the best of his career so far, with 31 on 12-17 shooting and 4-4 from three. He also had 4 blocks and 5 rebounds to lead the Suns to a 112-97 win and 3-2 series lead over the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night.
Bridges big effort, he had 24 in the second half, was part of an overall strong defensive effort by Phoenix. New Orleans shot just 32-80, 40 percent from the field, and 5-25 from three point range. The Suns also forced 15 turnovers. The Pelicans two leading scorers, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum, combined to shoot 14-41 from the field.
Better Shooting Night, Particularly From 3, Helps Suns Maintain Lead
While the Pelicans struggled from the field Phoenix shot 50 percent overall, 43-86, and 10-27 from the three point line. Making those three kept the Pelicans at arms length most of the night. Chris Paul bounced back from a rough game 4 with 22, 11 assists and 6 rebounds. Deandre Ayton had another solid game with 19 points and 9 rebounds.
Off the bench, before fouling out, Cameron Payne added 12 points, and made two threes. Payne is Paul’s backup and the better he plays the more Paul can rest. Payne also can bring a different pace to the game as well. His contributions are an essential part of any deep playoff run the Suns can make.
Free Throws and Offensive Rebounding Continue to Keep Pelicans in Games
New Orleans shot 28-35 from the free throw line. The Pelicans shot 32-42 from the line in game 4. They also claimed 13 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Suns 47-40 for the game. The combination of the two kept New Orleans in the game until the last minutes. Closing those gaps can go a long way to helping the Suns close out the series on the road Thursday night.
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