Phoenix Suns set franchise record with 18th straight win
Even with the story looming as a winning streak approaches, Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams said he tried not to tell his team about it.
But after Thursday night’s 114-103 win over the visiting Detroit Pistons, setting a franchise record with 18 straight wins, Williams gave himself time to think it over.
“But it’s really cool to be a part of something like that,” said Williams. “To win like that, the way we won, guys off the rotation, loser [Devin Booker to injury], the relentless attitude of our team, the way we stay together, it’s really cool.
“Obviously it’s hard to win in this league. But we are not satisfied.
The 18th win surpassed the previous franchise mark of 17 set by the 2006-07 Suns, who finished 61-21. The streak also ties the 2019 Bucks for the longest of any NBA team in the past five seasons. The longest streak in NBA history has been with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1971 to 1972, who won 33 straight games.
The Suns players have tried to play down how much they think about the day-to-day streak.
“It feels good but at the same time I don’t know, I guess it feels good but we have another one tomorrow,” said Cameron Payne. “We have to keep going. It’s 1-0 today. That’s how I feel.”
Suns point guard Chris Paul, who finished with 12 points and 12 assists, said it was a good piece of history for the team but the focus remains on the bigger picture.
“But for us, I think it’s still about making sure that we play the game the right way,” said Paul. “We always talk about the fact that we have a standard. We say it every night and a win is a win, but we think we could have played better.”
Phoenix was deprived of its top scorer in Booker, who missed the game with a hamstring injury. Without him, Phoenix focused on a more balanced scoring effort with seven players in double digits. Payne and reserve forward Cameron Johnson led the way with 19 points each off the bench.
“We have guys who can score the ball in any lineup,” Johnson said. “The book puts a lot of points on the board every night. We’re a team that we’ll find other ways when we need it and that’s what we’ve done tonight.”
Phoenix, who claimed the 17th victory over the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, will face the Warriors again on Friday (10 p.m. ESPN) – a clash Johnson is eagerly awaiting.
“A team that we’ve just played and beat at home, we can go home, a division game. That’s a lot at stake,” Johnson said. “That’s it, playing in the NBA. Getting into these environments with these implications. Sure, it’s a December game, but it means a lot. It means a lot to us to continue this streak. It’s going to be fun.”