The Phoenix Suns defeated the injured New Orleans Pelicans 124-111 on Friday night behind a season-high 27 points from Mikal Bridges and 16 points from Devin Booker.
Despite the Suns’ normal scoring studs being rather quiet, Bridges and their bench players had a strong game. Cameron Payne contributed 12 points, Bismack Biyombo had 11 points, and Torrey Craig finished with 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
Bridges made 10 of 13 field goals, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.
With 25 points and 10 rebounds, Jonas Valanciunas led the Pelicans.
Due to injury, the Pelicans were without some of its finest players, including forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. Biyombo played 23 minutes because Deandre Ayton, the Suns’ starting center, departed the game with an injured left ankle in the first quarter and did not return.
The Suns gradually pulled away in the second half after the game was close for the majority of the evening. They went on a 14-0 run toward the end of the third quarter to take a 93-83 advantage into the fourth.
Damion Lee hit a three-pointer to increase Phoenix’s lead to 106-90. 54 points were scored by the Phoenix bench.
After the first quarter, New Orleans surged out to a 27-21 lead, taking advantage of the Suns’ poor 3-point shooting (1 of 9 attempts).
Phoenix led by 57 to 52 at the break. Bridges led the Suns in scoring with 15 points, and Craig added 11 points off the bench while shooting 5-of-5. With 14, CJ McCollum led the Pelicans.
It involved a meeting of two groups that took place in the opening round of the playoffs the previous year. Before ultimately falling in six games, the Pelicans tested the top-seeded Suns considerably more rigorously than was anticipated.