LeVert scores 13 in debut as Pacers cool off Suns
PHOENIX (AP) — Malcolm Brogden scored 25 points and Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Phoenix Suns 122-111 on Saturday night.
Doug McDermott added 22 points for the Pacers, who improved to 17-20.
Caris LeVert made his much-anticipated Indiana debut following surgery to remove a mass on his kidney. He was in the starting lineup and played well, scoring 13 points in 27 minutes.
Devin Booker had 20 points and Dario Saric came off the bench to score 17 for the Suns, who had their five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 25-12.
The Suns led 33-29 after the first quarter but the Pacers opened the second with a 12-0 run, hitting five of their first six shots to take a 41-33 advantage in the first three minutes. The Pacers had a 62-57 lead at halftime.
Phoenix went cold in the third quarter, hitting only seven shots in 22 attempts. The Pacers capitalized, taking a 97-77 lead into the fourth.
In the final period, the closest the Suns got was nine points.
Indiana acquired LeVert on Jan. 16 as part of a four-team trade that sent James Harden to Brooklyn and Victor Oladipo to Houston. It was during the post-trade physical that a mass on LeVert’s left kidney was discovered. Tests showed it was a renal cell carcinoma and LeVert had surgery on Jan. 26 to remove the mass.
Prior to the trade, the 6-foot-6 LeVert averaged 18.5 points and six assists in 12 games with the Nets this season.
Pacers: Improved to 10-9 on the road. … Indiana is 5-3 when playing on the second night of a back-to-back. … The last time Indiana lost in Phoenix was January 2014. The Pacers have won five straight in Arizona. … Former Suns player T.J. Warren sat out again with a left foot stress fracture. … Jeremy Lamb also missed the game with a sore left knee.
Suns: The game was originally scheduled for Jan. 16 but was one of three Suns games postponed due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. … Cam Johnson sat out because of health and safety protocols. … The Suns are 12-7 at home and 13-5 on the road.
Pacers: Wrap up their three-game road trip in Denver on Monday.
Suns: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.
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