Okogie, Bridges outnumbered Suns past Pacers 112-107

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Phoenix Suns’ Damion Lee (10) battles for the ball with Indiana Pacers’ Andrew Nembhard (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

AP

Josh Okogie had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Mikal Bridges added 22 points and the shorthanded Phoenix Suns won their second straight game, beating the Indiana Pacers 112-107 on Saturday night.

Indiana had a chance to equalize his last possession, but Buddy Hield missed a rushed 3-pointer with two seconds left. The Pacers lost despite a triple-double from TJ McConnell, who had 18 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

Phoenix and his ragtag lineup went into the fourth quarter 87-83. The Suns were again missing a large chunk of their star lineup, including the all-star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker. The Deandre Ayton launch center was out due to a non-COVID-19 illness.

Both teams struggled to score in the fourth quarter.

The Suns went for a 102-94 lead with 2:49 left, but the Pacers scored four points on possession when Phoenix’s Saben Lee was called out for a flagrant foul after elbowing Hield in the face. Hield hit both free throws and Bennedict Mathurin made a layup after the Pacers kept the ball for the obvious foul.

The Pacers eventually moved to 104-101, but Phoenix’s Ish Wainright responded with a corner three-pointer with 1:10 left to give the Suns a cushion.

The Suns won despite shooting 41.8% from the field. The Pacers shot just 37.5%.

Indiana was without its top scorer Tyrese Haliburton, who missed his sixth straight game. The Pacers have lost seven straight games.

The Suns led 59-57 at halftime. Bridges led the Suns with 14 points while Bismack Biyombo had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Mathurin – who played in college in Arizona – scored 12 points for the Pacers.

TIP INS

Pacers: Haliburton wore the jersey of San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Brock Purdy while he was on the bench. Haliburton and Purdy both played in college at Iowa State.

Suns: Paul, Booker, Ayton, F. Cam Johnson, G. Cam Payne and G. Landry Shamet were all out. … honored the 1992-93 Suns team that won the Western Conference championship. They lost to the Bulls in six games in the NBA Finals. Several players were in attendance, including 11-time All-Star Charles Barkley, who was this season’s MVP. …thrown their 49th consecutive sell-out crowd.

NEXT

Pacers: host Chicago on Tuesday night.

Suns: host Memphis on Sunday night.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

This story was originally published January 21, 2023 8:50 p.m.

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