Former Pitt guard Cam Johnson has been carving out a niche as a sharpshooter for the Phoenix Suns during his first NBA season, and on Tuesday night, he posted the first 20-point game of his career in his team’s 123-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Phoenix.
In the interconference matchup, Johnson set new career highs for three-point attempts, three-pointers and points, as he went 5-for-13 from beyond the arc, accounting for 15 of his 21 points on the night. Johnson also scored four points from close range, going 2-for-3 on two-point shots, and he added two more points after going 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
Johnson scored his 21 points off the bench in a span of 33 minutes, and his point total ranked second on the team behind Suns star Devin Booker, who scored 22 points in 37 minutes. In addition to a robust point total, Johnson also had four rebounds, two assists, one steal and a game-high three blocks.
With the Suns 62 games into the 2019-20 season, the former first-round draft pick has seen action in 49 games in his rookie campaign. During that span, he has averaged 8.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while converting on 41.8 percent of his field-goal attempts and draining 39.7 percent of his three-point shots.
Johnson has performed particularly well in his last six games, as he has averaged 11.0 points and made 44.7 percent of his 38 three-point shots in that span. He has also been relied on more regularly by the Suns, as he has played 26.5 minutes per game in his last four outings as opposed to 19.8 in the 45 before that.
Given his recent play and the fact that the 24-38 Suns are not in contention for the playoffs, Johnson could see his minutes continue to trend upward as the team evaluates how significant a role he might play moving forward. Johnson and the Suns have 20 games remaining in the season and will next face the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night.