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4th Quarter Woes and Controversial Calls Fuel Loss to Indiana Pacers

Jan 26, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam (43) defends in the first half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns 7-game winning streak came to a screeching halt tonight against the Indiana Pacers as 4th quarter struggles came back to haunt them.

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In the 1st quarter, Devin Booker, coming off a 46-point night on Wednesday, dropped 29 points to get the Suns out to a lead. His stellar shooting, going 4/6 from beyond the arc, not only gave the Suns an early lead but also broke a franchise record previously held by Booker himself.

Entering halftime with a comfortable 10-point lead, the Suns maintained their offensive rhythm in the 3rd quarter. However, the Pacers began to heat up as well, scoring 35 points in the 3rd, setting the stage for a competitive final 12 minutes.

While 4th quarter struggles have not been a problem for the Suns as of late, before the last week or so, they were notorious for being one of the worst 4th quarter teams in the league.

The Pacers outscored Phoenix 28-17 in the 4th quarter. Despite entering the final stretch shooting 12-20 from deep, the Suns struggled in the 4th, managing only 1-10 from beyond the arc and 30% overall from the field.

As a result, Devin Booker’s season-high 62 points went to waste.

Adding to the challenges, injuries played a significant role in the Suns’ struggles during the 4th quarter. Jusuf Nurkic left the game with a jammed thumb and did not return, while Bradley Beal potentially suffered a broken nose.

The game was not without controversy, as some questioned the officiating. The Suns did not attempt a single free throw in the 4th quarter, a point that head coach Frank Vogel addressed in his post-game comments.

Video credits to Duane Rankin at USA Today.

Looking ahead, the Suns will aim to bounce back in a Sunday afternoon matchup against the Orlando Magic, with tipoff scheduled for 4 pm.

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