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Everyone Deserves Second Chance, Suns Make the Sacrifice

By Jacob Withee | February 21, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Everyone deserves a second chance. The Northern Arizona Suns took that too literally in Friday night’s game at the Grand Rapids Drive.

The Suns allowed 44 second chance points to the Drive at DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in their 127-104 loss. The Suns, who scored four second chance points themselves, lost their eighth straight game to fall to 8-28. The Drive improved to 22-15, winning for the fifth time in their last six games.

Matt Farrell powered the Suns in this one, posting season-highs in points (19, 8-15 FG, 3-8 3PT), assists (nine) and rebounds (tied season-high at seven). It was his best scoring game since he scored 26 points with the Delaware Blue Coats against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Feb. 20, 2019.

The first three quarters were relatively close with the Drive leading 32-27 after the first, 64-52 at halftime and 93-79 after three. The fourth quarter belonged solely to Grand Rapids, who began the frame on a 13-0 run to take a 27-point lead, putting the game out of reach.

The 44 second chance points by Grand Rapids are a Suns’ single-game opponent record, surpassing the 33 second chance points the Suns allowed at the Reno Bighorns on Jan. 27, 2018. The Suns actually outshot the Drive from the field 38-of-82 (.463) to 48-of-104 (.462), but Grand Rapids was able to get 22 more shot attempts thanks to a 56-37 rebound advantage, 22-7 in offensive boards.

Five other Suns joined Farrell in double figures. Ike Nwamu scored 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Ahmed Hill also was 4-of-8 from the floor, scoring 12 points. Aaron Epps finished with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting and three rebounds. Keljin Blevins tied his career-high with 10 points (3-6 FG), adding six rebounds. Trayvon Palmer notched 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting and four rebounds.

Detroit Pistons’ assignee Khyri Thomas, who hasn’t played since Nov. 6 due to injury, led the Drive with 27 points on 10-of-26 shooting, including 7-of-12 from distance, to go with seven rebounds. Donta Hall earned his seventh double-double in the last eight games with 22 points (7-10 FG, 5-5 FT), 19 rebounds and three blocks. Adam Woodbury led the bench with 17 points (7-12 FG) and six rebounds.

The Suns will wrap up a three-game road trip tomorrow at the Windy City Bulls at 4 p.m. MT. The Drive next play at the Wisconsin Herd on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. MT.

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