Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns reacts after hitting a three-point shot against the New Orleans Pelicans during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 125-114. Christian Petersen/Getty Images


  • Cameron Johnson showed how good the Suns can be when fully healthy
  • Johnson's return allowed Deandre Ayton to play more aggressively
  • Saben Lee could remain in Phoenix with a second 10-day deal

Cameron Johnson's grand return to the Phoenix Suns came in spectacular fashion as he helped them end their three-game losing streak with a 117-112 victory.

Here are three takeaways from the Suns' narrow win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Cameron Johnson's Presence Cannot Be Understated

Much has been said about the Phoenix Suns' slide from being Western Conference powerhouses to being out of the playoff picture entirely with a 21-24 record entering the Nets game, but Johnson proved to be a difference-maker early on.

Johnson made his return to the court at the 5:45 mark of the first quarter to much applause from the hometown crowd at the Footprint Center and was involved early on offense.

He would score 10 of the Suns' 35 first quarter points as they looked to overcome a Nets squad without the services of Kevin Durant.

While Johnson would only log nine more points throughout the game, it is worth noting that he looked extremely healthy and did his damage in just 22 minutes of action, adding six boards, two assists, a steal and a block, with a plus-8 differential–the second highest on the team.

The Suns have been needing help after dealing with a multitude of injury to their roster and Johnson's impact on the court could give Suns fans something to cheer about in the coming games.

Deandre Ayton Gets Back To "Dominayton"

Another player blamed for the Suns' skid, Deandre Ayton was on fire from the get-go as he torched the Nets defense early and often with jump hooks and turnaround floaters while grabbing the occasional rebound.

Nets center Nic Claxton tried his hardest to stop Ayton from dominating inside the paint, but it was simply one of those days for the Bahamian big man as he ended the night with a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds.

He does need to work on his free throw shooting a lot more however, as he missed four of his six attempts from the line which gave the Nets some room to mount a comeback in the second half.

Nevertheless, the Suns were able to build a lead that went as high as 24 points thanks to Ayton's efforts on both ends.

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns slam dunks against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference Second Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on May 04, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 129-109. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Saben Lee Earns Possible Second 10-Day Contract

Phoenix had been in search of some daylight at point guard with injuries to both main guards Chris Paul and Cameron Payne and while they elected to do it by committee, Saben Lee is proving his value.

Signed by the Suns on January 11 to a 10-day deal, Lee figured in the Suns' three-game losing streak and averaged 10 points on 50% field goal shooting with three assists over that span.

Against the Nets, the former Detroit Pistons guard would show his quality as he torched Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry for easy drives to the rim that helped build their lead.

When it was all said and done, Lee amassed 15 points with six assists over 29 minutes and his value as a fill-in for their main guards may have just earned him a second 10-day deal in the Valley.

Saben Lee, Detroit Pistons
Saben Lee during his time with the Detroit Pistons. Detroit Pistons/YouTube Screenshot