NAZ Suns lose season-high 4th straight, succumb to Agua Caliente
NBA G League
ONTARIO, Calif. — Despite being engaged in a back-and-forth, tight ballgame through nearly three quarters on Saturday, Nov. 24, the Northern Arizona Suns still managed to find a way to lose on the road.
The Agua Caliente Clippers avenged a buzzer-beating setback to NAZ Nov. 16 in Prescott Valley by pulling away late and defeating the Suns, 108-96, handing the visitors their season-high fourth straight loss.
Agua Caliente outscored NAZ, 31-20, in the tide-turning third quarter of the NBA G League Pacific Division contest at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
For the second straight game, the Suns played without leading scorer George King, who’s suffering from a right leg injury and whose last-second trey beat the Clippers in that mid-November game.
Eight Clippers scored in double figures, led by guard Jerome Robinson’s team-high 25 points (9 of 13 from the floor). But it was Angel Delgado’s line that stood out most, as he registered a double-double of 14 points and 22 rebounds. Johnathan Motley (21 points, eight rebounds) and Desi Rodriguez (16 points) aided in the effort.
For NAZ, which shot only 41 percent from the field (40 of 98), including a dismal 18 percent (5 of 28) from 3-point range, guard Jawun Evans continued to shine, tallying a game-high 29 points to go along with four steals and three assists. Derek Cooke Jr. came off the bench to record a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds. LaQuinton Ross added 14 points and eight rebounds.
With the loss, the Suns’ record dropped to 2-8, keeping them in last place in the Western Conference, while the Clippers improved to 3-4.
NAZ kept the game close with Agua Caliente until the Clippers sank back-to-back 3-pointers and a jam in the final 2 minutes of the third quarter. That spurt handed Agua Caliente its largest lead of the game to that point, 78-69.
Minutes later, Rodriguez drained a 3-pointer at the third-period buzzer to extend the edge to 83-71.
Agua Caliente led 25-24 at the end of the first period and 52-51 at halftime. But after what transpired in the third, the Clippers smelled blood and kept pushing the tempo – going ahead by 20 points, 103-83, with 5 minutes left in regulation, which set the tone the rest of the way.
NAZ returns to Prescott Valley Event Center at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, when the Suns play host to the Memphis Hustle (4-3 record through Saturday).
Agua Caliente welcomes the unbeaten Santa Cruz Warriors (8-0) to Citizens Business Bank Arena at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, for a Pacific Division clash.