EDINBURG, Texas – George King stringed together one of his best games of the season in the Northern Arizona Suns’ 123-106 loss at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
King recorded 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists, opening up the game with 11 points in the first quarter. He bested his previous high-scoring game of 23 points vs. Agua Caliente on Nov. 16. The Phoenix Suns Two-Way forward earned his eighth 20+ point game on the year, taking the team-lead in the category, surpassing Jawun Evans and Peter Jok.
The Suns (7-30) dropped their third straight game overall with Tuesday night’s loss at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg, Texas. The Vipers (23-12) snapped a two-game skid and have won eight of their past 10 games.
Rio Grande Valley held control for the majority of the contest, going up by as many as 19 points and never trailing. The Vipers jumped ahead 33-22 in the first quarter on 50.0 percent shooting, 57.1 percent from distance. The Suns stayed around in the first half, trailing 61-53 at the break despite their 37.0 percent clip from the field. Both teams lit it up in the third quarter before both cooling off in the final frame. The Suns got within seven points midway through the fourth before the Vipers iced it with a 10-0 run.
The big differences in this one came from distance and the charity stripe. The Vipers outshot the Suns from deep 18-of-43 (.419) to 10-of-35 (.286) and from the free throw line 19-of-20 (.950) to 24-of-34 (.706).
Retin Obasohan continued his great stretch of play with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting (7-8 FT), four rebounds and four assists. Jok made three more three-pointers tonight, earning 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Trayvon Palmer led the bench with 14 points (3-6 3PT). Eric Stuteville added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and three steals. Daxter Miles Jr. chipped in 10 points and five rebounds.
Michael Frazier led the Vipers with 34 points on 13-of-21 shooting, including 8-of-14 from downtown, to go with four rebounds and three assists. Gary Payton II achieved his second career triple-double on 11 points, 14 assists, 12 rebounds, two steals and one block.
Former NAZ Suns forward Chris McCullough poured in 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting, to go with seven rebounds and two steals. Gary Clark added 18 points (4-9 3PT) and six rebounds.
The Suns will finish a quick two-game trip at the Memphis Hustle on Friday at 6 p.m. MT. The Vipers will begin a three-game road swing on Thursday at the Salt Lake City Stars at 7 p.m. MT.