Former Pitt standout Cam Johnson did a little bit of everything in the Phoenix Suns’ 117-115 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night, as he came up with a game-high 12 rebounds and four three-pointers to go with four assists. All told, he finished with 19 points and the first double-double of his pro career in his team’s second game at the NBA bubble in ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida.
Cam and Cam just decided to absolutely GO OFF pic.twitter.com/Hq56YvY9et— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) August 3, 2020
Johnson’s 19 points were split up fairly evenly over the first three quarters, with his first six points coming on two made three-pointers in the first quarter; his next seven coming on a two-point shot, a layup and three made free throws in three attempts in the second quarter; and his final six coming on two made threes that fell as the Suns rallied back from an 81-70 deficit in the third quarter.
Breaking down those two third-quarter shots, the first followed a made three by former West Virginia point guard Jevon Carter and helped spark the Suns’ long climb back into the game, and the second came just under three minutes later and gave the team an 87-86 lead. The Suns would quickly give up that lead, but once they reached the century mark, the Mavs would never catch up to them again.
On an individual basis, Johnson’s 19-point contribution, which was the second-highest of his NBA career, ranked third on the Suns. The team was led by Devin Booker, who had 30 points, and Ricky Rubio, who had 20 points. However, the trio was outshined — at least individually — by Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who led all scorers with 40 points and had a double-double of his own with 11 assists. In addition, the Mavericks got 30 points from Kristaps Porzingis and 16 from Seth Curry, but ultimately it was not enough.
The Pitt graduate and the Suns are now 28-39 on the season, while the Mavericks fell to 40-29. The next opponents on the slate for Johnson and the Suns are the Los Angeles Clippers, who are currently 45-21 and have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George headlining a loaded roster. When the Suns and Clippers last played on Feb. 26, Johnson came up with 11 points and three boards in a 102-92 loss. The Suns are 1-2 against the Clippers this season and 2-0 in the bubble. The Pacific Division rivals will tip off Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.