Phoenix Suns rookie Deandre Ayton continues to dominate the National Basketball Association (NBA) Summer League.
On Wednesday night, the 7’1” centre poured in 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 91-86 win over the New Zealand Breakers. He had 13 points, 10 rebounds and two assists in just 17 minutes in the first half.
“I felt good out there,” Ayton said about his performance.
“I know it’s preseason and coach isn’t playing amount of time that he normally would, but it’s good to get out and compete. It’s more about getting a feel for things, so, I want to take advantage every moment that I am on the floor. Over the last two games, I’ve been focused on rolling to the rim.
“My teammates always tell me I’m too big to stop, and I’ve found success when I listened to some of the older guys. I think it’s going to be about building chemistry early and getting a good sense of where everyone is on the floor. I think I did a good job defending the rim and going up vertically, avoiding a lot of fouls.”
Following the game, Suns veteran Trevor Ariza said they hold Ayton to a high standard, and expect him to be productive from the start of the season.
“Impressed? Not really, that’s what’s expected of him,” he said.
“I’ll be impressed when he has a 20 and 20 game. That’s impressive, which he has the capability to do.”
Ayton was impressive in his debut against Sacramento Kings, putting up 24 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in a 106-102 loss on Monday.
Ayton and the Suns continue the preseason tonight against the Portland Trailblazers at 10:30 p.m. Following that game, they take on the Golden State Warriors on Monday and wrap up the preseason on Wednesday against Portland.
The Suns begin the regular season on October 17 against the Dallas Mavericks.