PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Alan Williams hadn’t played in a game since undergoing a meniscus repair in September, so it was a welcome sight to see him back on the floor for the Northern Arizona Suns on Wednesday night.
Williams tallied nine points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes against the Legends at the Prescott Valley Event Center, but the NAZ Suns fell a possession short, dropping the contest 139-137. The Suns dropped to 21-27 and the playoff-bound Legends improved to 28-20, keeping the fifth seed in the West.
Williams scored twice in the Suns’ first three possessions, but foul trouble limited him to eight minutes in the first half. He went on to play 11 minutes in the second half, earning a solid season debut.
Josh Gray led everybody in both scoring and assists, notching his seventh double-double of the season with 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-6 from distance, 10 assists, four rebounds and three steals. It marked his seventh 30+ point game on the year, the sixth most such games in the NBA G League. Gray capped off the high-scoring affair with 11 points in the fourth quarter on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting.
Besides it being high-scoring, it was also a back-and-forth matchup, with both teams pretty even throughout. The Suns led by one after the first quarter and got the lead to 14 in the second quarter before Texas stormed back to make it 68-66 at halftime. After a close third quarter, the Legends took a 13-point lead midway through the fourth before the Suns stormed back themselves. They got it within a point with 12.7 seconds left and fouled Duke Mondy. He made the first, missed the second, but the Suns were unable to corral the rebound. Mondy would then make the next two to ice the game.
Mondy led the way for Texas with 29 points on 11-of-16 shooting and seven assists. His great shooting night was a common theme, as both teams finished an identical 48-of-92 (.522) from the field. The Suns would make one more three-pointer on the same amount of attempts (18-of-39), but made three less free throws, wherein lies the difference.
The Suns gathered five more rebounds, scored 10 more points in the paint, had more second chance points, had more fast break points, but lost the game. Seemingly the only category NAZ lost was the turnover battle, giving up 15 points on 15 miscues, while scoring eight points on just eight takeaways.
Xavier Silas and Alec Peters helped keep NAZ in it with great outside shooting, as each made five from downtown. Silas notched 23 points and nine rebounds, while Peters finished with 18 points and six rebounds.
Archie Goodwin also had a solid game, tallying 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting (8-of-9 from the free throw line), six assists and five rebounds. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had 15 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench, joined by Lavoy Allen with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Texas’ Cory Jefferson finished with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting and five rebounds. Brandon Ashley had 21 points, J.J. Avila had 10 rebounds to go with eight points, and Jordan Downing led the bench with 18 points and seven rebounds.
The Suns will play a back-to-back set to end their season. They host Fan Appreciation Night on Friday at 7 p.m. PT against the Sioux Falls Skyforce before hosting Salute to Heroes Night on Saturday against the Skyforce, also at 7 p.m. PT. The Legends will also close with a back-to-back set, facing off against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday at 5:30 p.m. PT.