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Booker’s Efficient Night, Jones’ Big Shot Lifts Suns Over Wolves in OT

By Jacob Withee | November 12, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns knew they were going to get Iowa’s best Saturday night, having just beaten them by a point on Thursday. The second game between these two teams in three nights was just as good as the first, as the Suns won an overtime thriller at the Prescott Valley Event Center 124-119 over the Wolves.

Askia Booker hit big shot after big shot, tallying a game-high 34 points on 10-of-18 shooting, 6-of-11 from beyond the arc and 8-of-10 from the free throw line to go with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. However, Phoenix Suns assignee Derrick Jones Jr. hit the biggest shot of the night, as he nailed a 28-foot three-pointer in a tied game with 45.3 seconds left in overtime.

Tensions flared early in this one, when Booker and former NAZ Suns guard Elijah Millsap were each issued a technical foul in the first quarter. Both teams were square after one before the Suns (2-1) went on a 17-5 run to start the second quarter. That would be the largest lead of the game for either team, as Iowa (1-3) got it down to just a one-point game at halftime.

A back-and-forth second half led to a tied game at 113 with 1:32 left to play. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson gave NAZ the lead with a layup, then Josh Gray nailed a 16-foot jump shot with 46.8 seconds left. Just when the game seemed in the Suns’ hands, Anthony Brown made a layup and Millsap tied the game with a driving score with less than 17 seconds remaining.

The Suns were unable to score the game-winning bucket in regulation, but controlled overtime the whole way, scoring the frame’s first seven points and only allowing Millsap a free layup with a few seconds left.

Booker is now the NBA G League’s second leading scorer at 32.3 points per game. This marks his first stretch of 30-point games of his career, and it is his fourth overall.

Jones and Hollis-Jefferson each recorded double-doubles, with Jones scoring 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, 13 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals. Hollis-Jefferson earned the start with Alec Peters away with the Phoenix Suns, and the 26-year-old tallied 20 points on 10-of-16 shooting, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

Anthony Bennett had another productive game, notching 17 points on 4-of-5 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Josh Gray powered the bench with 12 points and eight assists.

Northern Arizona has averaged 127.7 points over its first three games this season.

Brown led the way for the Wolves, earning a double-double with 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting and 10 rebounds. Amile Jefferson also had a double-double with 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting and 16 rebounds.

Millsap had 19 points and six rebounds, while Melo Trimble, who scored a game-high 37 points on Thursday, was held to 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting tonight.

The Suns now get set to play their first road game of the season, as head coach Cody Toppert heads back to face his former team, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. That one will tip off at 6 p.m. MT on Tuesday. Iowa gets to head home after a three-game road trip to take on the South Bay Lakers at 6 p.m. MT on Wednesday.

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