Canaan, who played with the Suns for 19 games during the 2017-18 season, prepares to head back out onto the court after suffering a gruesome ankle fracture on January 31. With their new-look starting lineup and a solid amount of depth this year, Phoenix hopes that all can change during the 2018-19 season.
"I'm not surprised. Suns fans are not surprised", Phoenix first-year coach Igor Kokoskov said. "We let them back in when we should have put them away, so I felt it was my job to make the plays to win the game". Ayton's first points came on a made shooting foul on Doncic in the first quarter.
Ayton finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Suns' 121-100 victory. Ayton had a double-double in his debut (and had more assists than Doncic), Devin Booker looked dominant in the fourth quarter and the team had 19 three-pointers, tying the National Basketball Association record for most threes in a season opener. The book on him coming in was he had never really been taught to defend until college and he just doesn't have the understanding yet, and that showed.
On the other hand, Luka Doncic in 32 minutes of action posted 10 points, grabbed 8 boards and made 4 assists.
The Suns shooting guard ended the night with 35 points and seven assists while going 6/10 from three and 12/19 from the field. As a team, the Suns went 19-for-34 from beyond the arc while allowing the Mavericks to shoot just 30 percent themselves (10-for-33). Canaan was one of nine players to start at point guard for Phoenix last season.
Suns: G Jamal Crawford, whose signing was announced earlier in the day, was not in uniform.