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Suns Need Overtime to Defeat Pistons In Preseason Opener

The Phoenix Suns started their preseason by traveling to Detroit to take on the Pistons. These are two very different teams is two very different places. Yes, Detroit and Phoenix are very different but these teams are in different places in the NBA journey.

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The Suns come into this season with expectations of winning a championship. Phoenix lost in the second round last season and added former scoring champion Bradley Beal to the lineup along with a plethora of other moves to improve. They also fired head coach Monty Williams and replaced him with Frank Vogel.

The Detroit Pistons had a rough year last season. They finished with a record 17-65. Their star point guard Cade Cunningham missed most of the season with a shin injury. Their biggest move of the off-season was the hiring of former Suns head coach Monty Williams. Detroit made headlines by signing Williams to a six year, 78.5 million dollar deal. This is largest deal signed by a coach in NBA history.

This shows that the Pistons are dedicated to allowing Williams to build a program with their team. The word rebuilding is often frowned upon but that is the best way to describe what the Pistons are doing right now.

Setting The Tone

The Suns put up NBA Jam numbers in the first quarter. They were “on fire” as they shot 85% from the floor and 80% from three. The starters for the game were Bradley Beal, Devin Booker, Josh Okogie, Kevin Durant, and Jusuf Nurkic.

The word that was said the most coming of out of the first week of training camp was intensity. That intensity showed up in a major way to start the game. The Suns started the game on a 14-2 run. They were dominant on both ends.

Phoenix also did a great job of playing with pace early in the game. Getting out in transition and not allowing the Pistons to set up their defense.

Kevin Durant was locked in scoring 12 points in 13 minutes. He shot 4/7 from the floor and 1/2 from three. Devin Booker was just as locked in scoring 12 points in 15 minutes. Bradley Beal wasn’t left out of the fun scoring 11 points in 14 minutes. Beal, Booker, and Durant all played very well off of each other.

The Suns were up 70-59 at halftime.

The Second Half

Phoenix started the third quarter off very well. They were led by the play of Grayson Allen.

Allen shined on his birthday. The 28 year old had 18 points on 7/11 shooting from the field and 3/6 from behind the three point line.The Suns outscored the Pistons 34-25 in the third quarter.

The game looked to be in the bag for Phoenix but Detroit had other ideas. They came back to force overtime. Detroit outscored Phoenix 38-18 in the fourth quarter.

Detroit was able to turn defense into offense on several occasions in the quarter. Along with the excellent play on defense they made several clutch shots down the stretch.

In overtime, the Suns would make life very tough on the Pistons offense along with getting some clutch baskets from Keon Johnson and Yuta Watanabe.

The Suns won their preseason opener, 130-126.

Players of the Game

The player of the game for Phoenix was Grayson Allen. Allen’s plus/minus was +22. Plus/minus doesn’t always show you how good or bad a player played but Allen’s play matches the +22. He may have made a case for himself to be the fifth starter. It will be very interesting to see if Vogel starts him in their preseason home opener.

The player of the game for the Pistons was Marvin Bagley III. Bagley had 25 points on 10/14 shooting from the floor along with seven rebounds. He posted a plus/minus of +19.

Up Next

The Phoenix Suns will host the defending champion Denver Nuggets on October 10th. The Detroit Pistons will be on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 12th.

Phoenix’s Starters Shine to Start Preseason as Suns Lead Pistons, 70-59 at Halftime

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