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Mikal Bridges nets 27 as Suns dump ailing Pelicans

Sportsnaut
Oct 28, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mikal Bridges scored 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting to lead the host Phoenix Suns to a 124-111 victory over the injury-depleted New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night.

Devin Booker and Cameron Johnson added 16 points apiece and Torrey Craig had 13 on 6-of-6 shooting off the bench as the Suns won their third straight game.

Jonas Valanciunas recorded 25 points and 10 rebounds and Naji Marshall contributed 21 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Pelicans, who played without stars Brandon Ingram (concussion) and Zion Williamson (hip, back) and defensive standout Herb Jones (knee) for the second straight game.

CJ McCollum added 17 points and nine assists, Jose Alvarado scored 14 points and Trey Murphy III had 13 points for New Orleans.

Phoenix’s Deandre Ayton sprained his left ankle in the first quarter and was later ruled out. He had four points and three rebounds in seven-plus minutes.

Cameron Payne scored 12 points and fellow reserve Bismack Biyombo had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Phoenix. Chris Paul had nine assists but only just seven points on 1-of-7 shooting.

The Suns shot 52.2 percent from the field, including 10 of 33 from 3-point range.

Devonte’ Graham added 11 points for New Orleans, which made 44.2 percent of its shots and hit 15 of 37 from behind the arc.

Valanciunas scored on a dunk to give New Orleans a 78-75 edge with 4:46 left in the third period before Phoenix ripped off the next 14 points. Payne finished the flurry with a 3-pointer to give the Suns an 11-point advantage with 1:49 remaining.

Phoenix took a 93-83 lead into the fourth quarter and then scored 10 of the first 14 points to increase its lead to 16 on Jock Landale’s basket with 8:25 remaining.

Johnson drained a 3-pointer to make it 110-92 with 6:04 remaining but the Pelicans later crept within 114-103 with 3:23 left. But Bridges fed Biyombo for a dunk to start a run of six straight points as the Suns put the game away.

Bridges scored 15 first-half points as Phoenix led 57-52 at the break. McCollum had 14 in the half for New Orleans.

–Field Level Media