D-League: Hot-shooting Suns use 78-point half to drop Nets
Silas scores 23, Harrison adds double-double in win
Xavier Silas scored 23 points on five 3-pointers, Shaquille Harrison tallied his second double-double of the season and Northern Arizona scored a franchise-high 78 points in the first half to beat Long Island 119-108 on Tuesday afternoon.
Harrison finished with 18 points on 8 of 18 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Suns, which scored a season-high 38 points in the first quarter thanks to a torrid 16 of 29 (55%) mark from the field.
Northern Arizona (15-17) extended its lead in the second quarter, hitting 15 of 20 (75%) shots, including a perfect 8 for 8 from the free-throw line to lead 78-55 at halftime and the Nets never recovered.
“The guys have been playing well,” Suns head coach Tyrone Ellis said via text message late Tuesday night. “We had two losses on the road that could have gone our way. A couple of made shots, or different calls, we win those games.”
A big part of the Suns’ success Tuesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was points in transition, turning 27 Long Island turnovers into 38 points.
The Suns, finishing the game shooting 52 percent (46 of 89), are now a perfect 7-0 when achieving a 50 percent from the floor or better mark this season.
Other standouts for Northern Arizona included Josh Gray, who scored 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field, while Derek Cooke Jr. had 15 points and seven rebounds.
For Long Island (13-23), R.J. Hunter led all scorers with 25 points, while three others recorded double-double performances including J.J. More (20 points, 10 rebounds), Chris McCullough (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Trahson Burrell with 14 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
Northern Arizona wraps up its five-game East Coast road trip today in Greensboro, North Carolina, to take on the Swarm (12-23).
“It’s very important to go into All-Star weekend with a win and momentum,” Ellis said. “This next game is important for us to make a strong playoff push.”
The Suns, trailing Los Angeles (27-8) by 10-1/2 games in the Pacific Division standings, have won three of their last five and are 2-2 on the current road trip. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.
Brian M. Bergner Jr. is an associate sports editor for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and SoundCloud at @SportsWriter52, or on Facebook at @SportsAboveTheFold. Reach him by phone at 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.