Suns start Richaun Holmes over Deandre Ayton in Portland


(AP photos)

The Phoenix Suns changed their starting lineup once again on Thursday, starting Richaun Holmes over No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Ayton is active for the Suns and checked in three minutes into the game. Fox Sports Arizona said Ayton was not feeling well but would try and play.

The team is already without Devin Booker (left hamstring strain) and T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness) due to injury.

Ayton was criticized for his effort in the Suns’ 122-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. In that game, the Suns were outscored 36-9 in the first quarter.

On the season, Ayton is averaging 16.0 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He is shooting 60 percent from the field.

Holmes, meanwhile, has impressed with his energy off the bench. In 13.5 minutes an outing, Holmes is posting 6.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and a team-high 1.0 blocks per game.

The Suns have lost nine of their last 10 games and have the league’s worst record at 4-20.

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