NBA

Paul hails 'nice piece of history' as Suns break franchise record win streak

By Sports Desk December 03, 2021

Phoenix Suns veteran guard Chris Paul says breaking the franchise's record win streak is a "nice piece of history" but insists he was not thinking about it in Thursday's win over the Detroit Pistons.

The Suns completed an 18th consecutive victory, downing the lowly Pistons 114-103 to improve to 19-3 record to top the Western Conference. Phoenix's 18 straight wins broke their previous franchise-best mark from the 2006-07 season of 17.

Paul, who had 12 points and 12 assists against the Pistons, has played in many successful sides before but found unique joy in the Suns' record-breaking streak, even if it was not at the front of his mind.

"It's cool. I really wasn’t thinking about it," Paul said during the post-game news conference. "Obviously it's a nice piece of history for the team but for us it's always about that feeling of playing the game the right way.

"We say this every night, a win is a win, but we feel like we could’ve played better."

He added: "It's exciting. Some were so long ago so you forget. To be on this journey with young guys and having rookies on the team, it's cool. It's also cool that guys aren’t stressing about it either. it just happened."

The Suns were without All-Star guard Devin Booker for the first time this season due to a hamstring injury but had plenty of contributions.

Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 19 points off the bench, while JaVale McGee added 10 points from 15 minutes too.

"We were hooping. It was like most nights," Paul said when asked about the side covering Booker.

"I aint surprised. I don’t expect anything less. It's how our team is. Every night it's someone else stepping up and we expect that."

Suns head coach Monty Williams was awarded Western Conference coach of the month prior to the game after an unbeaten November, with Paul offering up his praise.

"He's a big reason why I wanted to come play here, because of who he is as a person and as a coach, the principles and the accountability we have here," Paul said.

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    Two teams in the NBA are on league-leading four-game winning streaks heading into Thursday's schedule. The pair face one another at American Airlines Center.

    The Phoenix Suns have pulled clear of the Golden State Warriors at the top of the West, their league-best record improving to 34-9 while Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Co are .500 across their past 10 games.

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    PIVOTAL PERFORMERS

    Dallas Mavericks – Kristaps Porzingis

    The Suns have a wealth of talent, while Dallas too often have only had Doncic. The need for a second man to step up and help the two-time All-NBA First Team selection is evident. Porzingis is the obvious candidate.

    While the Mavs struggled while Doncic was out, Porzingis has shown that he can play the role of leading man when required.

    His usage rate of 28.6 per cent this year is the highest it has been since he moved to Dallas – explained by Doncic's lay-off – and the knock-on effect is an increased offensive output when the simple option of passing the ball to his team-mate is removed.

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    Given the frequency with which Paul is creating shots for team-mates, his assist-to-turnover ratio is even more impressive, ranking second with 4.38 dimes per turnover.

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    Doncic missed Phoenix's first two wins against Dallas this season and has only three victories in the 11 games he has played versus the Suns.

    With Ayton's role in Phoenix's recent success starting to alter the narrative around the 2018 draft, in which Doncic was quickly considered the most talented young player, the Dallas man may see this as an opportunity to send a message.

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    This had been a closely fought rivalry until the Suns' dominance in the Ayton-Doncic years. Now, Phoenix boast a 93-74 record against the Mavs and will hope to improve that further on the road.

    Dallas are a more impressive 47-36 in home games against the Suns.

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