Tagged in: Phoenix Suns

Suns’ Deandre Ayton tests positive, gets 25-game ban

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton released an apology for what he labeled an “unintentional mistake” after the NBA handed down a 25-game suspension to the second-year player on Thursday evening for violating the terms of the league and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) anti-drug program.

According to the league’s statement, Ayton tested positive for a diuretic, which is banned by the league as diuretics can be used to hide or cleanse the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

“I do understand the unfortunate impact that this has on so many others, and for that, I am deeply sorry,” Ayton said in a statement. “I’m extremely disappointed that I’ve let my team down.”

With the 25-game suspension, Ayton will lose roughly $2 million in salary.

Ayton, 21, entered the season expecting to earn approximately $116,620 per game in 82 regular-season outings, which totals about $9.5 million for the 2019-20 season.

According to ESPN, the NBPA is planning to appeal Ayton’s suspension with the thinking this occasion falls under the “unintentional ingestion” provision of the collective bargaining agreement.

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“On behalf of the Phoenix Suns organization, (coach) Monty Williams and I are disappointed in the actions by Deandre Ayton that led to his testing positive for a banned diuretic and subsequent suspension by the NBA,” Suns GM James Jones said in a statement. “This does not uphold the standards and principles we have set for the team.”

“Deandre has expressed his deepest remorse,” Jones continued. “While he is suspended we remain committed to his growth and development on and off the court. His actions are not taken lightly, and we are committed to ensuring that Deandre understands the profound impact it has had on the team, organization, and Suns community.”

Drafted No. 1 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Suns, Ayton, a former University of Arizona standout, ended with 18 points and 11 rebounds in his season debut, helping the Suns beat the Sacramento Kings, 124-95 earlier this week. In his rookie season, Ayton averaged 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in 71 games.

Ayton’s suspension will start Friday as he will miss the Suns’ contest against the Denver Nuggets. As of now, he will be eligible to return to the lineup on Dec. 17 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets

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The Phoenix Suns invade the Barclays Center to take on the Brooklyn Nets tonight.

The Suns were really struggling with five losses from six games, but they were able to arrest a four-game slide with a nice 107-102 win at Toronto on Tuesday. Eric Bledsoe and Mirza Teletovic led the scoring with 20 points each, Brandon Knight and Jon Leuer added 16 points each while TJ Warren had 15 as the Suns snuck past the Raptors who were riding a four-game win streak. With the much-needed win, Phoenix moves one step closer back to .500 with a record of 8-9 overall and 3-4 on the road

The Suns snapped a four-game losing streak Sunday, beating the Toronto Raptors 107-102. Phoenix averages the third-most points in the league (106.5) and has scored at least 100 points in four of its last five games.

Eric Bledsoe drives the bus for the Suns’ offense, leading the team with 22.6 points and 6.2 assists per game, but also gets it done defensively, leading the team in steals (1.8) and blocks (0.7) per game. Bledsoe is coming in hot off a 20-point, 11-rebound and three-block performance against the Raptors on Sunday.

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The Brooklyn Nets have won three straight games at Barclays Center, beating the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and most recently the Detroit Pistons, 87-83 on Sunday night. The Nets will play 20 home games in December and January – 10 in each month – the most of any NBA team over that span. The Nets are 3-3 in Brooklyn this season and the six home games to date are the second-fewest in the Association.

The Nets have won three of their last four home games against the Phoenix Suns.

The Nets had lost four of five before their 87-83 win over the Pistons on Tuesday. Thaddeus Young led the scoring with 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists, Brook Lopez added 15 points, nine rebounds and six blocks while Joe Johnson had 13 points as the Nets won despite scoring just 35 points in the first half. Defensively, the Nets couldn’t do much to stop Andre Drummond who dominated the paint with 20 points and 18 rebounds, but they did a great job of holding the rest of the Pistons to 30.5 percent shooting and in particular, Reggie Jackson who shot just 4 of 20 for his eight points. With the win, Brooklyn improves to 4-13 on the season and 3-3 at home.

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Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns

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Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena: Phoenix, AZ

When: 8:30 PM Arizona Time / 10:30 PM Eastern

The Phoenix Suns (3-4) are playing at home tonight against a good Los Angeles Clippers (5-3) team, who is coming off a a tough road loss to the Dallas Mavericks last night, in what had the feel of a revenge game with DeAndre Jordan as the target, in his first return to Dallas since agreeing to sign with the Mavs as a free agent, then waffling, and ultimately spurning them this off-season.

The Pacific Division rivals are trying to chase the Golden State Warriors who lead the pack, with the Clippers second with a 5-3 record, while the Suns are third with a 3-4 record so far this season.

Both teams are looking for victories after they dropped their last games in the league and a win over a division rival should restore their confidence moving forward in this young season.

The Suns are trying to avoid losing for a third straight time as they face the Clippers.

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The Los Angeles Clippers need a big win after losing three of their last four games. The Los Angeles Clippers are averaging 105.4 points on 47.3 percent shooting and allowing 101.4 points on 41.7 percent shooting. Blake Griffin is averaging 28.6 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Paul is averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 assists. DeAndre Jordan is grabbing 13.3 rebounds and Lance Stephenson is dishing 2.4 assists. The Los Angeles Clippers are coming off a Wednesday loss to the Mavericks in which they allowed 55.3 percent shooting and allowed 65 second half points. The Clippers have allowed 100-plus points in five of their eight games and are forcing under 13 turnovers per game. J.J. Redick is questionable with a back injury.

The Phoenix Suns need a big home win to get back to a .500 record. The Phoenix Suns are averaging 102.1 points on 42.8 percent shooting and allowing 102.3 points on 46.2 percent shooting. Eric Bledsoe is averaging 21.9 points and 6.1 assists while Brandon Knight is averaging 17.9 points and 4.3 rebounds. Tyson Chandler is grabbing 10.9 rebounds and Markieff Morris is dishing 1.4 assists. The Phoenix Suns are shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the arc and grabbing 47.3 rebounds per game. The Suns have allowed 100-plus points in seven of their last 11 games and are forcing 15 turnovers. The Suns have lost six of their last nine home games

Matchups:

  • Eric Bledsoe vs. Chris Paul
  • Brandon Knight vs. J.J. Reddick
  • P.J. Tucker vs. Lance Stephenson
  • Markieff Morris vs. Blake Griffin
  • Tyson Chandler vs. DeAndre Jordan

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