Originally Published: March 2, 2018 11:18 p.m.
Two Northern Arizona Suns players had epic performances Friday, March 2, and even though the team had a franchise-low six turnovers, it all came in a losing effort. The Suns fell at home to the Memphis Hustle 128-116.
The Suns dropped to 20-22 while Memphis improved its record to 17-26.
Josh Gray achieved the second triple-double in team history with 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting, including 6-of-12 from beyond the arc, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. This marked Gray’s second career triple-double, achieving the first in NAZ Suns history on Nov. 27, 2016, versus Sioux Falls. He is the 16th player in the NBA G League to earn a triple-double this year. The 11 rebounds were a season-high for Gray, surpassing the 10 he secured on Jan. 5 at Reno.
Alec Peters tied a team record by making nine three-point field goals on the night. His nine marked one better than his previous high of eight on Nov. 14, 2017, at Rio Grande Valley. His nine tied Xavier Silas’ mark that he made vs. Sioux Falls on March 12, 2017.
Peters tied his career-high of 34 points on 11-of-22 shooting (9-of-17 from deep), to go with 10 rebounds. This was his fourth 30-plus point game of his rookie year, tied for the 11th most such games in the league this year. It was his sixth double-double, his first since Dec. 22 versus Oklahoma City.
The Suns got off to great starts in the first two quarters but let the Hustle get back into things at the end of each frame. NAZ took a 26-14 lead with five minutes left in the first before Memphis went on a 14-5 run to trail by three. The Suns had an 11-point lead midway through the second, but again, Memphis would chip that down to a five-point game by halftime.
The third quarter was close throughout, but Memphis had firm control of the fourth quarter. After trailing by three with 9:39 left in the game, the Hustle went on a 12-0 run to take the lead 110-101. The Hustle cruised through the rest of regulation, winning by 12.
The Suns actually had a franchise-low of six turnovers Friday, giving up only six points on the miscues. The Hustle were too hot from the floor though, making 45-of-88 (.511) from the field and 13-of-29 (.448) from distance. Memphis also outrebounded NAZ 53-41.
Omari Johnson was the main reason for Memphis’ success. He tallied 30 points on 10-of-20 from the field, including 8-of-12 from deep, and 16 rebounds. He tied his career-high in scoring (which he initially scored against NAZ on Feb. 21), he tied his career-high in three-point makes (which he initially made against NAZ on Feb. 21), and he secured a new career-high in rebounds, surpassing the 15 he gathered versus Westchester on Feb. 7, 2015.
Five other Hustle players scored 13 or more points, including Marquis Teague, who recorded 22 points and nine assists on the night.
The Suns will stay at home to get their redemption against the Reno Bighorns at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Hustle head back west to play the Santa Cruz Warriors at 7 p.m. Sunday.
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