PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns faced an 18-point deficit late in the third quarter and mounted a huge comeback, getting the deficit down to two with 2:28 left in the fourth, but they were unable to come back all the way, losing to the Austin Spurs 113-105 at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
The Suns (3-11) stayed with it despite a poor shooting night, finishing 33-of-86 (.384) from the field. The three-ball kept them afloat, where they were 12-of-28 (.429). The Spurs (7-5) didn’t shoot lights out either, 40-of-87 (.460), but their ability to score inside proved the difference. Austin outscored NAZ in the paint 60-26.
Peter Jok was hot early, making three three-pointers for nine points in the first quarter to give the Suns a 28-27 lift after one. He scored as many in the second quarter, joined by Daxter Miles Jr.’s nine points, as they had the Suns only losing the second frame by two points despite shooting 6-of-22 (.273) from the floor.
The game was tied at 61 when the Spurs took control, going on a 21-7 run over five minutes to lead by 14. The Suns wouldn’t go away, however, going on a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter to get the Spurs’ lead down to two. Turnovers and missed free throws cost Northern Arizona the rest of the way, as they were unable to win consecutive games. The Spurs have won five of their past six games.
Jok led Northern Arizona with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including a perfect 4-of-4 mark from the three-point line, to go with five rebounds. This marked his fourth 20+ point game of the season. Miles earned another career-high after just setting a career-mark, besting his 20-point game on Saturday with 21 points today.
The hot man the last five games, Jawun Evans tallied 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds, battling foul trouble all night, as were most players in the game. There were 65 combined fouls between the two teams.
Derek Cooke Jr. had the Suns’ lone double-double, his team-leading fourth of the season, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. LaQuinton Ross also scored in double figures, adding 12 points and eight rebounds.
Austin’s Ben Moore led all scorers with 31 points on 9-of-12 shooting, plus 13-of-14 shooting at the free throw line. He also recorded 14 rebounds in the game for the Spurs’ only double-double. Each member of Austin’s starting five scored in double figures, including Moore, Nick Johnson (17 points, six assists), John Holland (15 points, five rebounds), Amida Brimah (11 points, eight rebounds, six blocks) and Lonnie Walker IV (10 points). DeJuan Blair led the bench with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Suns will get their chance at vengeance as these teams meet again on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. MT at H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas.