PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – It was a night to remember.
The Northern Arizona Suns ended their 2017-18 season with a bang, beating the Sioux Falls Skyforce 141-137 in overtime in front of record attendance to close out the year with the most wins in team history.
Alan Williams was a huge part of that. “Big Sauce” recorded 25 points on 11-of-20 shooting, 12 rebounds and three blocks in his third game with the NAZ Suns this season to power the team to victory. It marked his first double-double in his NBA G League career, achieving career-highs across the board.
The Suns end the year 23-27, earning the most wins in a season in team history (22-28 last season). They won in overtime in front of 2,601 fans, a new team record at the Prescott Valley Event Center, besting the 2,520 fans at a home game on Feb. 4, 2017 vs. Santa Cruz. They had almost 6,000 more people in attendance for their home finale this year compared to last year.
Meanwhile, the Skyforce dropped to an even 25-25 on the year.
Just like last night when these two teams met, Sioux Falls took a commanding lead after the first quarter, 38-27. And just like last night, the Suns dominated the second frame 44-25, snagging the lead 71-63 at halftime. Peter Jok was the main reason for the quarter improvement, as he scored 16 points in the second frame alone on 5-of-5 shooting (2-of-2 from distance) and 4-of-4 from the free throw line. He finished with a career-high 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-4 from deep, five rebounds and two assists off the bench.
The Suns led by 11 in the third quarter before Sioux Falls would rally to make it a six-point game entering the fourth. Again the Suns would take a big lead, this time by 12 with four minutes left before Sioux Falls stormed back. The Skyforce went on a 22-8 run to take the lead with 24.9 seconds left, with Alonzo Gee getting a cutting dunk to put Sioux Falls in control. Archie Goodwin responded with a driving lay-up of his own, and the Suns got a stop to give the record attendance free basketball.
Bubu Palo made a layup right out of the gates in overtime before Josh Gray responded with a putback layup off of a Williams’ miss. With 18.4 seconds left in a tied game, Williams wouldn’t miss this time, scoring the go-ahead and-1 bucket to push the Suns in the lead for good.
There were big performances across the board for both teams tonight. Goodwin and Danuel House each joined Williams by earning a double-double. House just missed out on a triple-double, recording 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting, 11 rebounds and nine assists off the bench. Goodwin notched 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
Xavier Silas finished the year with 154 three-point makes, scoring 18 points on four made three-pointers, to go with four rebounds and two steals. Alec Peters tallied 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Gray followed up his triple-double with 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Ike Nwamu led Sioux Falls with 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting, to go with three rebounds and five steals. He was one of four players to score 20+ points.
Kadeem Jack and Palo each scored 25 points. Jack did his on 12-of-19 shooting, adding 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. Palo had his on 9-of-17 shooting, to go with eight assists, five rebounds and two blocks.
Gee also had a double-double, recording 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 11 rebounds and four assists.
This marked the last game for both teams on the 2017-18 campaign. The Suns held a postgame auction for specialty jerseys they wore tonight on Salute to Heroes Night, honoring the military and first responders. All proceeds are going to the Prescott Valley Police Foundation.