HIDALGO, Tex. – The Northern Arizona Suns ended 2017 with a five-game losing streak, so the flip of the calendar was a welcome sight. Seeing Phoenix Suns guard Davon Reed make his first appearance in a game since the Summer League was also a welcome sight, as the Suns beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 113-108.
Xavier Silas led the Suns with 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-10 from beyond the arc and two clutch free throws to ice the game. Northern Arizona won its first game since Dec. 15 at Iowa, snapping a four-game losing streak on the road too. The Suns improved to 8-14, while the Vipers fell to 15-9.
Reed got the start tonight in his third game with Northern Arizona since getting assigned by the Phoenix Suns. He underwent a meniscus repair of his left knee on Aug. 24 and was given a four-to-six month recovery timetable. Drafted by Phoenix with the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the 22-year-old tallied 11 points on 2-of-5 shooting, 1-of-3 from distance, 6-of-6 from the free throw line, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 20 minutes.
Phoenix Suns Two-Way player Alec Peters notched 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting (5-of-14 from the three-point line), four rebounds and three assists. It was Peters’ fourth consecutive 20-point game, a career-long streak. Josh Gray flirted with a triple-double, tallying 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 4-of-6 from distance, seven rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
For the fourth straight game, Northern Arizona held the lead after the first quarter, this time maintaining it for the majority of the game. The Suns shot 13-of-20 (.650) from the field in the first quarter to take a 37-30 lead, and both teams knotted the second frame 30-30. Both teams knotted the third quarter too, 25-25, to set up a compelling final frame.
The Suns were able to fight off a cold-shooting fourth quarter and held on to their late lead, with Reed and Silas making two free throws each in the last two minutes. NAZ forced the Vipers to miss their last five shots of the game.
Monte Morris led all scorers with 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-8 from distance. He had the game’s lone double-double, tallying 10 assists and seven rebounds.
RJ Hunter scored 25 points while Tyler Lydon recorded 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting, eight rebounds and three assists.
The Suns head to Reno for their first game against the Bighorns this season, with an 8 p.m. MT tip-off slated for Friday. The Vipers host the South Bay Lakers on Thursday at 6 p.m. MT.