CHICAGO (AP) — Disappointed he didn’t make a bigger impact the previous night against the defending champions, DeAndre Ayton sure made his presence felt against the Bulls.
Ayton dominated with 28 points and 19 rebounds, Devin Booker had 29 points and the Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls 112-104 yesterday.
Phoenix outscored Chicago by 13 in the third quarter to wipe out a 10-point halftime deficit and ended the game on a 17-4 run to come away with the win after losing seven of nine. The Bulls dropped their eighth in a row.
Ayton wasn’t thrilled with his performance in a 118-101 loss at Toronto last Friday. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds in that one after missing the final two games before the All-Star break because of a sore left ankle.
Against the Bulls, he simply took over — particularly down the stretch.
Ayton had 12 points and eight rebounds in the fourth quarter and just missed season highs in scoring (31) and rebounding (21).
“It’s one thing when you hear it from coaches — Am I doing the right thing,” he said. “But it’s another thing hearing it from your teammates, (who) you see everyday and laugh and joke around with and goof around. You know when to get serious. Mental toughness, to be honest.”