Suns’ bench helps dominate banged-up Pacers

Indianapolis, IN ( – Gerald Green dominated his former team
with a game-high 23 points in Phoenix’s 106-83 win over Indiana.

Coming off the Suns’ bench, Green scored 12 of his points in the first
quarter, including the final seven of the period for Phoenix. His 3-point shot
as time expired gave the Suns the lead for good.

“That’s the way I’ve been playing since I got traded,” Green said. “I’m still
doing the same stuff, the only difference now is that I play. I never played
when I was here. I have something to prove every night.”

Markieff Morris and Goran Dragic scored 13 and 11 points, respectively, and it
was the Suns’ bench that carried much of the load. In addition to Green’s 23,
Isaiah Thomas scored 16 as the Phoenix reserves totaled 63 points.

The Pacers struggled from the field for most of the game and shot just 36.9
percent overall and 7-of-23 from beyond the arc.

Roy Hibbert finished with just two points and two rebounds in less than seven
minutes. After spraining his ankle halfway through the first quarter, Hibbert
played briefly in the second before injuring the ankle again and not returning
to the game.

“When he comes out, we kind of play the pace that (the other team) wants to,”
said Pacers guard Solomon Hill.

Indiana’s banged-up roster got even more bad news in the fourth quarter when
Rodney Stuckey left the game with a sprained wrist. Stuckey led the Pacers
with 14 points on the night.

“I don’t feel bad for us. One guy is out, we go out and try to win with the
guys we have in uniform,” said Indiana coach Frank Vogel about his depleted

The Suns carried a 30-27 lead into the second quarter thanks to Green’s effort
and extended the margin to 55-48 at the break.

Reserves Ian Mahinmi and Lavoy Allen held their own down low in the second
quarter with four points apiece, but without the presence of Hibbert in the
middle, the Suns took over the game in the second half.

In the third quarter, Phoenix used its athleticism to pull away. Eleven of its
25 points were scored on the fastbreak, and the Suns finished the game with a
23-11 advantage on the break. Dragic and Markieff Morris combined for 15 of
Phoenix’s third-quarter points.

With their lead sitting at 80-64 after three, the Suns emptied their bench for
the fourth and managed to expand their lead even more. At one point, the lead
ballooned to 25 points. Thomas scored nine of his 16 points in the final
quarter, and Anthony Tolliver added eight to finish the game with 11.

Game Notes

Phoenix has won three straight against Indiana … The Suns won the second
game of a back-to-back for the first time in four tries this season …
Phoenix improved to 4-1 on a six-game road trip that ends Monday in Toronto
… Indiana outscored Phoenix 40-32 in the paint.