It’s hard to believe given the magnitude of the move, but on the day the Phoenix Suns fired their general manager Ryan McDonough, they also had a preseason basketball game to play against the Golden State Warriors on the road.
The Suns went on to have their best preseason performance of the season in a 117-109 win.
After head coach Igor Kokoskov called out his team’s effort after a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers Friday, the Suns clearly responded.
To be fair, the Warriors seemed rather disinterested with the concept of defense. But the Suns still had to produce offensively, something they failed to do efficiently in their first three preseason games.
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They certainly did so on Monday night.
The Suns shot 51 percent from the field and were 14-of-33 (42 percent) from the three-point line.
Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson had their breakout games of the preseason, each shooting 6-of-10.
Ariza had 17 points, two rebounds, four assists and three steals. He continues to re-discover his game as a ball-handler in Phoenix after primarily being used as a shooter only in Houston.
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The @Suns look strong as they hold the halftime lead in Oakland! pic.twitter.com/M7m4hbxGrZ
— NBA TV (@NBATV) October 9, 2018
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Anderson, meanwhile, had 18 points and was 4-for-7 from deep after shooting just 1-of-9 in the first three preseason games from beyond the arc.
For the fourth straight preseason game, rookie center Deandre Ayton filled the stat sheet. He had 18 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 27 minutes.
Ayton showed off the post game a bit more, hitting a jumper over Kevin Durant and using a baby hook shot on the next attempt.
Round 2. Baby right hook. pic.twitter.com/KpCfaP2ORZ
— Suns Film Room (@SunsFilm) October 9, 2018
As has been the case all preseason, his connection with Josh Jackson in a two-man game was present.
[email protected]_josh11 @DeandreAyton pic.twitter.com/LRwQa7NbFH
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) October 9, 2018
T.J. Warren had 15 points off the bench as well, also adding in two assists, two steals and two blocks.
At point guard, Shaquille Harrison got the start, but De’Anthony Melton stood out in his seven minutes of action.
De'Anthony Melton gets to his right hand… and-1! #NBARooks
WATCH on @NBATV pic.twitter.com/CliTyDpcjT
— NBA (@NBA) October 9, 2018
He made three of the four shots he took for eight points.
Isaiah Canaan had five assists in 16 minutes while Elie Okobo was the one in the group to get the night off.
The Suns play their final preseason game on Wednesday in Portland against the Trail Blazers at 7:00 p.m. You can listen to the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.