Obasohan sparks NAZ Suns win over Kings, ending 3-game losing streak 94-90
NBA G League
PRESCOTT VALLEY — Like so many of the Northern Arizona Suns games this season, Tuesday night against the Stockton Kings came down to a few crucial possessions in the final 3 minutes and tonight Retin Obasohan closed the show.
With 3:01 remaining on the clock Obasohan went to the line with the Suns down by three and hit two free throws en-route to scoring seven points in the final stretch and forcing the game-winning turnover with 8 seconds left to secure the 94-90 Suns victory.
“It’s great to get back on the winning side of things,” Obasohan said. “Obviously we had a three-game skid so it’s nice to get it back, see us win a game, get that confidence going and hopefully take that into our back-to-back this weekend.”
As the final score indicates, the game was close throughout with the Kings extending a lead of 12 points in the second quarter that quickly dwindled back down, but neither team could pull away definitively. However, in the final quarter it was the Suns that outscored the Kings, 28-19.
Stockton Kings head coach Ty Ellis, former Suns head coach, said “it feels great” to be back here in Prescott, but pointed to his team’s defensive effort as their downfall in this game.
“I thought we were extremely undisciplined on the weak side, (so) they consistently got weak side cuts (and) we rested on the defensive end,” Ellis said. “That was the message before the game and that was the message at halftime, it was the same thing.”
Ellis added, “I called a timeout and I said, ‘I don’t know what to say, you guys know. Each one of you has two my-bads, each one of you, so that’s 20 points of my-bads. My bads don’t get it in this business.’ We have to grow from this (because) my-bads get guys cut, my-bads get coaches fired and that’s how this business is and we have to erase those my bads.”
In the game, Hollis Thompson was big for the Suns with 18 points and five rebounds, with Peter Jok, Aaron Epps and Daxter Miles Jr. all scoring 11 points apiece. It was a team effort in the defensive battle against the Kings but Obasohan led the way with 24 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, to go along with six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
“People like to ask me what position I play and I like to say playmaker,” Obasohan said. “Whether that’s scoring the ball, sharing the ball, rebounding the ball, getting a defensive stop, (I’ll do) whatever it takes. I just want to make the plays that are there to be made, so that’s what was going through my mind (at the end). Just make a play and help us win the game.”
As Obasohan alluded to earlier, the win for the Suns snapped a three-game losing streak, after winning three in a row previously to that, which is indicative of their season. The Suns have had streaks from three wins in a row to 14 losses in a row and after the win tonight Coach Bret Burchard wants to see consistency from his young group.
“We’re just trying to find some consistency and give consistent effort over time,” Burchard said. “We talk about it all the time, consistent effort from quarter to quarter, game to game, over the course of the year and I think that’s the hardest thing for young guys to learn.”
Burchard added, “We have played 34 games now that’s like a whole college season, so they’re just navigating their way through professional basketball and finding how to stay consistent when you’re playing three or four games in a week and multiple back-to-backs on the road, so it’s a different grind then they’ve done. They’re doing a good job.”
The Suns will stay here in Prescott Valley as they will finish up their three-game home stand on Friday, Feb. 1, when they host the Lakeland Magic at 7 p.m. and the Delaware Blue Coats the following night, also at 7 p.m. inside the Findlay Toyota Center.
Chris Whitcomb is a sports reporter for The Daily Courier. Follow him on Twitter at @AZChris32. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2031.