Deandre Ayton couldn’t stop smiling after the Phoenix Suns’ 104-103 win on Tuesday gave them a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals over the LA Clippers.
The big man wore a permagrin as he basked in the joy that came from dunking home the go-ahead bucket in the game’s final second, finishing one of the most dramatic alley-oops in NBA playoff history, but he didn’t want any of the credit.
“I’ll start off by saying that’s definitely Jae [Crowder’s] game winner, making a great pass for a 7-footer,” Ayton said after his dunk with 0.7 seconds left lifted his final line to 24 points on 12-for-15 shooting and 14 rebounds.
Seemingly no one on the Suns wanted the solo spotlight as the franchise drew within two wins of its first finals appearance since 1993.
Not Suns coach Monty Williams for drawing up the play. He said he stole parts of former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown’s and former Phoenix coach Joe Prunty’s playbooks to cobble the idea together.
“I wish I was that bright,” he said, “but I’m not.”