Bridges, Paul lead Suns past Pelicans 112-97 for 3-2 lead | Kingman Daily Miner

PHOENIX – Mikal Bridges was enjoying his forty seventh minute of basketball on Tuesday night time when he leaped into the air, threw down an enormous two-handed jam and pulled himself up on the rim with somewhat sneer for good measure.

He’s the do-everything man for these Phoenix Suns. And, no, he is not even near drained.

Bridges scored 31 factors and blocked 4 pictures in arguably one of the best sport of this professional profession, main the Suns over the New Orleans Pelicans 112-97 to take a 3-2 lead within the Western Conference first-round sequence.

“I’m ready to play tomorrow,” Bridges stated with an enormous grin on the postgame information convention. “I’m energized, my teammates keep me going. I’m itching my knee right now, talking about it. I’m ready, I love being out there with my teammates. They’re my best friends, it makes it way easier.”

Chris Paul added 22 factors and 11 assists, bouncing again from a subpar efficiency in Game 4. Deandre Ayton added 19 factors and 9 rebounds.

The Suns by no means trailed but in addition by no means completely pulled away till the ultimate jiffy in opposition to the feisty Pelicans. Once once more, Phoenix discovered a approach to shut, enhancing to 50-0 this season when main after three quarters, together with 3-0 on this sequence.

Bridges closed the Suns’ scoring with two emphatic dunks within the last minute.

Brandon Ingram scored 22 factors and CJ McCollum added 21 for New Orleans, which was harm by a sluggish begin and 15 turnovers.

“I just thought that we made some timely mistakes, starting with the turnovers,” Pelicans coach Willie Green stated. “Fifteen turnovers for 23 points, that fuels their team and that fuels their transition opportunities. That is an area where we know we have to be better.”

The Suns took an 89-78 lead into the ultimate quarter after Cameron Payne’s late 3-pointer. The Pelicans — simply 36-46 through the common season — pulled inside seven factors with lower than two minutes left, however Cameron Johnson threw down a one-handed jam on the following quick break to maintain the Suns in management.

Phoenix will attempt to clinch the sequence in Game 6 on Thursday in New Orleans. If the primary 5 video games are any indication, it is not going to be straightforward.

It was an ironman efficiency for Bridges, who performed 47 of a doable 48 minutes but by no means appeared drained. He made 12 of 17 pictures from the sphere, blocked 4 pictures, grabbed 5 rebounds and had two steals.

The lanky 25-year-old — who was one in every of three finalists for the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award — has by no means missed a sport in his four-year NBA profession, enjoying in 309 regular-season video games and 27 extra within the postseason.

“He doesn’t miss games, he guards the best players every night and then he has 31,” Paul stated.

Phoenix performed its third straight sport with out All-Star guard Devin Booker, who was nonetheless out with a strained proper hamstring that occurred in Game 2.

Phoenix led by as many as 17 through the second quarter earlier than settling for a 59-46 benefit. Paul had 16 factors earlier than the break whereas Ayton added 13. Ingram had 13 for the Pelicans.

“We have to change the way we start a game and come out with energy,” Pelicans middle Jonas Valanciunas stated. “If we didn’t have that wrestle within the first half, it could have been a distinct sport.


Paul was irritated postgame a few technical foul he acquired within the fourth quarter. It got here at a vital juncture: The Suns had been main simply 100-92 with 4:39 left.

The level guard bought the technical after being whistled for an eight-second violation. Paul claimed that each one he stated was “C’mon” on the scorer’s desk as a result of he hoped for a assessment.

“It’s out of control, that’s ridiculous,” Paul stated. “It is what it is. We try not to get fourth-quarter techs on our team. That’s a big deal.”


Speaking of displeasure with officers, Suns coach Monty Williams was fined $15,000 for publicly criticizing the officiating in Game 4 of the first-round playoff sequence in opposition to the New Orleans Pelicans, the NBA introduced earlier than the sport. The Pelicans had a 42-15 benefit in foul pictures throughout Game 4, which the Suns misplaced.


Pelicans: Jose Alvarado was as soon as once more robust on protection, forcing the eight-second name within the fourth quarter in opposition to Paul, which resulted in a turnover and technical foul on Paul. … New Orleans shot simply 5 of 25 (20%) from 3-point vary.

Suns: Booker has been understanding on the workforce’s observe facility, but it surely’s nonetheless unclear when he’ll be capable to return. … Payne gave the Suns a lift with seven factors within the first quarter. He averaged simply 4.8 factors by means of the primary 4 video games of the sequence. … Phoenix was simply 1 of 9 from 3-point vary earlier than closing the primary half by hitting 4 of 6.

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