Fourth Quarter Woes Continue for Suns in Loss to Knicks

By Jacob Withee | December 10, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Just like on Friday night, the first three quarters went relatively well for the Northern Arizona Suns, but they couldn’t keep it going in the fourth quarter.

On Sunday, the Suns were outscored 36-17 in the final frame in their 123-103 loss to the Westchester Knicks at the Prescott Valley Event Center.

On Friday night, NAZ was outscored 48-30 in the fourth, giving up a season-high points in a quarter. Today, the Suns tied their season-low in points for a quarter in the deciding frame (third quarter at Salt Lake City on Nov. 18).

The Suns (5-9) led by one at halftime, thanks largely to the play of Mike Young, who had 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, and nine rebounds in the first 24 minutes. He finished with Northern Arizona’s lone double-double, recording 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds.

The Knicks (11-5) jumped out to a hot start to the second half, going on a 13-0 run to open the quarter through the first two-and-a-half minutes. After falling behind 82-66 with six minutes left in the third, the Suns would battle back to take the lead at one point before the quarter was over. After the third, the Knicks held just a one-point advantage.

It was close early in the fourth, but after Westchester led 98-92, the Knicks went on a 16-2 run to put the game out of reach.

Westchester was hot all night, shooting 49-of-89 (.551) from the field, including 13-of-23 (.565) from three-point land. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks went 15-of-21 (.714) from the field, while forcing the Suns to shoot 5-of-17 (.294). The Suns also gathered just three rebounds in the frame, losing the rebounding battle 16-3.

Xavier Silas also scored 20 points for the Suns, shooting 6-of-10 from three. He has now made a three-pointer in 16 straight games, matching the longest streak of his career (Feb. 4-March 17, 2017).

Alec Peters (16 points, seven rebounds), Askia Booker (13 points, eight assists, three steals) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (12 points, eight assists, two steals, two blocks) also scored in double figures for NAZ.

Trey Burke led all scorers with 30 points on 13-of-21 shooting, to go with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. This was Burke’s third 30+ point game of the season.

Isaiah Hicks had the lone double-double for Westchester, posting 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting, 10 rebounds and six blocks.

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (18 points, nine assists) and Nigel Hayes (16 points, nine rebounds) just missed out on double-doubles for the Knicks. Billy Garrett recorded 15 points off the bench.

The Suns remain home to play the Santa Cruz Warriors on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Knicks head further west to continue their four-game trip. They play at Reno on Tuesday at 8 p.m. MT.

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