Intense Phoenix Suns big Deandre Ayton leads Bahamas to comeback stunner over Argentina

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Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton kept his fellow Bahamian brothers in it.

Eric Gordon took it back to 2010 with an emphatic dunk to end the half and Buddy Hield broke the game open in the second half.

Down by as many as 18 in the first half, Team Bahamas stormed back Wednesday night behind the play of their NBA Big 3 to stun host Argentina, 101-89, in group play to advance to the Olympic pre-qualifying tournament semifinals.

Hield is with the Indiana Pacers while Gordon has joined Deandre Ayton in Phoenix.

The semifinals are Saturday and the finals are Sunday. Bahamas must win the tournament to advance to next year’s FIBA Olympic qualifying tournaments July 2-7, 2024.

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The winners of those tournaments will earn a spot in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

The Bahamas have never been to the Olympics in men’s basketball, but just pulled off one of its biggest wins ever behind the play of Ayton, Gordon and Hield.

Gordon scored 24 points that included a one-handed smash to put the Bahamas up 55-53 at halftime.

Hield scored 23 points with 14 coming in the second half while Ayton finished the game with 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Bahamas was coming off a 109-68 blitzing Monday of Cuba, but Argentina proved to be a tougher out as expected. Ayton kept Bahamas in the game with 16 points and eight rebounds in the first half.

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Then Gordon closed the half strong for Bahamas and Hield followed up with a huge second half. Ayton hit a big jumper in the fourth to keep Argentina temporary at bay and hushed the crowd while Gordon nailed a late 3.

Ayton was also very vocal in the huddle in the fourth quarter and talked to Gordon after Gordon stared at the referee twice following a play in which the veteran guard felt he was fouled before later drawing a foul.

Gordon attempted only two shots from 3, making one, but went 11-of-12 from the line.

Travis Munnings scored 20 on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting for Team Bahamas, hitting 3-of-3 from deep.

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Bahamas outscored Argentina, 30-16, in the second quarter and 27-14 in the third quarter.

Nicolás Brussino paced Argentina with 21 points while Facundo Campazzo, who played for the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks, added 18 points and 10 assists.

Have opinion about current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Deandre Ayton, Eric Gordon, Buddy Hield shine in Bahamas’ upset



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