The Phoenix Suns are in the midst of a seven-game road trip that hasn’t been favorable. Phoenix has lost its last four games, each holding a different weight of disappointing capacity.
With that, Phoenix has a chance to put a halt on sliding further down the rankings on Tuesday. The Houston Rockets were able to steal a game from the Suns earlier in December.
Now without Devin Booker, the Rockets could look to repeat that notion. Such was the case with Houston holding a 54-35 lead over Phoenix at halftime.
Houston got out to an early lead on Phoenix in the first quarter. Jalen Green along with Jabari Smith, Jr. looked to lead the way for the Rockets. Despite having a lead throughout the half, it was overall a low-scoring contest for both teams.
The Suns resulted to their 3-point shooting as a primary option, which has failed them often lately. Halfway through the second quarter, Phoenix was only 21.1 percent from three-point range. The Suns were also shooting only 27.8 percent from the floor.
Though Phoenix has struggled scoring, the clear dip in production is a sign of Booker’s absence. Booker currently accounts for 31 percent of the Suns’ usage.
Despite being relocated to the reserves unit, Cameron Payne is leading the Suns in scoring. He’s up to nine points for the half. The disparity between Payne and the rest of Phoenix is far, with nearly the rest of the team having less than five points respectively.
Phoenix has gotten after the ball defensively, as the Rockets are up to 11 turnovers at the half. Even so, it’s not far off from the 16.8 turnovers the young Rockets squad has averaged on the season.
Rebounding is also swinging heavily in Houston’s favor. The Rockets are up to 39 rebounds for the half while Phoenix only tallied 22. Deandre Ayton has three of those rebounds, which spells trouble. Torrey Craig leads in boards with seven.
With seconds remaining in the second quarter, Ayton drew a foul on Kevin Porter, Jr., injuring his ankle.
This could truly draw concern for Phoenix if there isn’t a positive result at the end of the contest.