INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Brandon Knight and the Phoenix Suns’ backups outlasted the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Knight scored 17 points and helped the bench players combine for an NBA season-best 78 points in the Suns’ 116-96 victory over the Pacers.
Jared Dudley added 16 points, Alan Williams had 15 points, and Devin Booker and Leandro Barbosa 13 each. The Suns improved to 4-9 with their second road victory.
“Every day is like a blank canvas for us,” coach Earl Watson said. “The good thing is, we’re the artists of that blank canvas. The mindset in getting our guys to learn to bring it every night is the process, the journey for us.”
Myles Turner led the Pacers with 22 points, and Jeff Teague had 21 points and seven assists.
“We went through the motions. We were on our heels,” Indiana’s coach Nate McMillan said. “It was bad out there. The game should fire you up. When they toss the ball up, you should be ready to go and (on Friday) we weren’t.”
The Pacers rallied to take their first lead with 7:46 left in the third quarter on Turner’s basket. But the Suns pulled ahead again, with Knight scoring all 12 points of his points in the period in a 2 1/2-minute stretch. Phoenix outscored Indiana 27-14 in the fourth.
“Basketball is a game of runs and we were able to get stops eventually,” Knight said. “They started making a lot of shots and when we got consecutive stops, it led to us getting baskets.”
Pacers All-Star Paul George did not play for the second time in three games. He’s battling soreness in his left ankle after turning his ankle in Indiana’s overtime loss at Philadelphia on Nov. 11. He’s scheduled for an MRI on Saturday to assess the severity of the injury.