The Phoenix Suns Defense Take Care of the Knicks 116-95

The Phoenix Suns had their first afternoon home game of the 2022-2023 season, and the opponent was the New York Knicks looking to challenge the Suns to another close game.

The Suns have lost four of their six losses by a total of 6 points, and that is with a shorthanded roster missing two starters along the way.

The Knicks came in with energy early on and kept the game close after two quarters only down by four points, then in the third quarter, the Suns turned up the defensive intensity outscoring the Knicks 35-22.

Point guard Cameron Payne led the way with 21 points and 9 assists doing a very good job covering for the injured Chris Paul the last week, playing an average of 32 minutes per game and going at a pretty steady pace leading the offense.

Torrey Craig also played a great part in the covering of Cam Johnson since his knee injury, doing a masterful job slashing to the basket and making himself available for put-backs and dunks in the lane.

Craig’s scored 14 points and did most of his damage in the first half, he also added four rebounds and has been shooting the three ball at a pretty good clip around 38%, and most of those from the corner.

The Suns shot the three ball at 17 of 39 for 43.6% from the field, and have been shooting a high number of threes per game this season which has been out of character from last year’s average.

This game had a very slow feel to it, as it is very well documented that a Tom Thibodeau-coached team will bring that Eastern Conference defensive prowess.

Head Coach Monty Williams changed his bench lineup specifically for this matchup, coming off the bench at the center position with Bismack Biombo instead of the energetic crowd favorite Jock Landale.

The Suns outrebounded the Knicks 59 to 39 and were outscored on points in the paint 46 to 42, giving up a season-high point total to point guard Jalen Brunson.

Although the Knicks are supposed to be one of the best defensive teams, it was the Suns defense that took over the game throughout.

Tuesday marks the day the Los Angeles Lakers come into Footprint Center for the first time in the early regular season, and there is no word if star Forward Lebron James will be available or not.

The season is going at a very calm and slow pace and the team doesn’t look to panicked about their place in the Western Conference standings, as it has been said they are not concentrating on the regular season and using it as a tuneup to the playoffs. 

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