The question of whether Deandre Ayton was deserving of a maximum deal was hotly contested throughout the NBA summer. The answer is a loud yes on evenings like Saturday.
Ayton had a double-double for the season with 29 points and 21 rebounds, Devin Booker chipped in with 27 points, and the Phoenix Suns hung on to defeat the Utah Jazz 113-112 in overtime.
Midway into the fourth quarter, the Suns were leading 99-93 after the Jazz had led 81-78 after three quarters. The game remained close through the last minutes of play, but Phoenix never surrendered the advantage. Along with his points and rebounds, Ayton also made a vital steal in the dying seconds that prevented a late Jazz comeback.
“I have no idea what he consumed on Thanksgiving, Booker remarked. I should have been there”, the person said.
In order to prevent the Jazz from having a final possession, Ayton secured Booker’s missed 3-point attempt with his 21st rebound of the contest. After the Suns matched an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers over the summer, Ayton agreed to a four-year, $133 million contract.
Suns coach Monty Williams stated, “That young kid has been going to the gym at odd hours, lifting with (coaches), so he can be prepared for occasions like this. Just seeing the results of the job is satisfying. It’s encouraging to watch him having back-to-back monster performances against elite opposition. That’s very amazing.”
Since Amar’s Stoudemire in 2007, Ayton was the first player to record at least 28 points and 20 rebounds in a game for the Suns. He had a field goal percentage of 11 of 19, had three assists, and blocked two shots.
Ayton said, “I want to do more, and I believe I can do more. I’m simply trying to do everything I can to help my squad,” the player said.
Strangely, on the Suns’ last possession, the Jazz didn’t foul them, thereby letting the Suns run out the time. Will Hardy, the coach of Utah, said that there was some misunderstanding and that the last play just did not go as planned by the squad.
For the second consecutive night, Ayton recorded a season-high in points. In a 108-102 victory against the Pistons on Friday, he scored a career-high 28 points. Booker had a difficult shooting night, connecting on only 8 of 27 attempts.
With a season-opening 10-3 record, Utah was one of the NBA’s surprise teams in the early going. Since that time, the Jazz has gone only 3-7.
The Jazz forward Kelly Olynyk remarked, “One game or one stretch of the season doesn’t define your season.” You must experience ups and downs. Adversity: learn from it and you’ll be better off for it.
The Suns have won four consecutive games and have an 11-1 record at home this year. For the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points. Lauri Markkanen scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Collin Sexton added 20. Jazz was in the lead at the break, 54-51. Ayton scored 11 points and pulled down seven boards, while Clarkson led the Jazz with 12 points.
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