Jalen Lecque Dunk Overshadows Late Suns’ Loss

By Jacob Withee | January 25, 2020

ONTARIO, Calif. – The Northern Arizona Suns dropped a tight game at the Agua Caliente Clippers on Saturday afternoon, but before you read the rest of this exhilarating recap, you need to be aware that Jalen Lecque almost shut down the arena with this dunk…

Now, back to the game. The Suns lost 117-113 at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, despite leading most of the way. The Suns (8-21) just missed out on winning their second game at the Clippers in three days, while Agua Caliente moved back to .500 at 14-14.

Jared Harper led all scorers with 25 points, to go with four rebounds, four assists and three steals. This was his eighth 20+ point performance in his last nine games, and his 19th 20+ point game of the year, the most in the NBA G League.

Trayvon Palmer recorded a career-high 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-4 from distance, to go with 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season, the sixth of his career. He had a double-double in the first half alone with 20 points (8-10 FG, 2-2 3PT) and 10 rebounds.

After winning by 29 points on Thursday, the Suns got off to a great start in this one, quickly going up double-digits and owning a 15-point lead late in the first quarter. The Suns ended the frame up 32-23, with Palmer earning 13 points and five rebounds. The second quarter was tight in itself, as the Suns entered the locker room up 63-53.

The Clippers came out with a vengeance in the third quarter, starting the half on a 13-4 run, eventually getting it to a 17-7 run to tie the game at 70. The Clippers led by four points, 84-80, before the Suns closed the quarter on an 8-2 spurt to take back the lead heading into the final frame, 88-86. The Suns took a double-digit lead at 98-88, before the Clippers responded to tie it 100-100 midway through. In a close game at the end, the Suns had chances to tie it up, but couldn’t get the big shot to fall.

The Clippers outshot the Suns 43-of-90 (.478) to 39-of-97 (.402) and outrebounded NAZ 50-43.

Matt Farrell had his best game in a Suns jersey with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-3 from distance, and three assists. Ike Nwamu followed his season-high scoring game with 12 points in this one. Lecque (11 points, four rebounds) and Tariq Owens (10 points, four rebounds) also scored in double figures.

Markel Crawford led the Clippers with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting, to go with seven rebounds and six assists. Xavier Rathan-Mayes tallied 22 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks. James Palmer Jr. had 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals. Seven different Clippers players secured 6+ rebounds, with six of them scoring 10+ points.

The Suns get a short break, next playing Wednesday at home against the Austin Spurs at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Clippers next play on Tuesday vs. Sioux Falls at 8 p.m. MT at Toyota Arena.

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