Chris Paul showed his leadership and with an excellent job in the distribution of the ball, he managed to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 113-103 victory, this Sunday, over the Indiana Pacers, led by Dominican Chris Duarte.
Paul finished with a double-double of 18 points and dished out 16 assists to be the spark of the game for the leaders of the NBA Western Conference.
The Suns guard, who had just four turnovers in the game, was just as effective when he went to the basket, scoring eight of the 11 attempts he made, serving as a weapon to open up the opposing defense.
Mikal Bridges scored 23 points to be the game’s top scorer, while franchise player Devin Booker added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Suns’ success.
The Phoenix team, which has been playing without star center DeAndre Ayton, out since the 16th of this month, due to his right ankle, had a great job from Bismack Biyombo, with 21 points and 13 rebounds, and JaVale McGee, who recorded 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Dominican Chris Duarte, who came from tying his best mark of the season with 27 points against the Golden State Warriors, led the Indiana team with 17 points, as did Lance Stephenson, who added the same number of points off the bench .
Given the injury losses of the stars Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner, the Dominican point guard has shown his leadership skills, averaging 19.7 points per game.
Chris Paul takes the reins
After a triple by Dominican Chris Duarte, with 32.9 seconds remaining, assured the Pacers the lead in the first quarter (24-25), veteran Suns point guard Chris Paul took the reins of the game in his hands, in the next 12 minutes of the first half.
Paul, who barely scored two points in the first quarter, showed his stardom and hierarchy for the Suns to take off the scoring, assisting and scoring when his team needed it.
Mikal Bridges, who scored nine points, was Paul’s main ally in the Phoenix attack, who found an answer in the combination of Jeremy Lamb (7), Duarte (6) and Goga Bitadze (6), who were not enough to keep Indiana from falling behind in the fourth (35-29).
In these 12 minutes of the second quarter, Paul averaged a point per minute, registering 12 points, in addition to granting six touchdown passes, to lead the Suns to dominate the half of the game 59-54.
Paul finished the first 24 minutes of the game with 14 points and nine assists, followed by Bridges, who had 13 points.
The Pacers had the leadership of the Dominican Duarte, with 11 points, while Bitadze and Lamb registered 10 units each.
The 12 key minutes
Arriving at the third period of the game with a deficit of just five points, he kept high the expectations of the Pacers, who were betting on coming back and taking command of the game, but Paul and the Suns did not have that in their plans.
Paul, who had been the drill for Phoenix in the first half, practically dedicated himself to feeding his teammates, in the third quarter, in which Bridges scored 10 points and Bismack Biyombo completely dominated the paint area, by scoring nine points, with seven rebounds, three of them offensive, in addition to granting four assists.
Oshae Brissett, with eight goals, was the best man on the court for the Pacers in the third quarter, in which they were outscored 33-20 and which gave him an 18-point lead (92-74), which were vital to victory .
Already in the last quarter of the game, with a more fluid offense, the Pacers managed to beat the Suns 20-29, but they fell short and ended up losing the game.
With this victory (113-103), the Suns have won their last five games in a row, two of them against the Pacers, solidifying their leadership in the NBA West.