ONTARIO, Calif. – Northern Arizona Suns guard Jawun Evans had a career-night on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the Suns lost at the Agua Caliente Clippers 108-96.
The Suns (2-8) have lost four consecutive games since beating the Clippers on Nov. 16. It’s their longest losing skid of the season. The Clippers improved to 3-4, winning their first home game of the year inside Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California.
Evans scored a new career-high 29 points on 13-of-24 (.542) shooting, a day after originally setting a career-high 23 points. It’s the first time in his career he’s scored consecutive 20+ point games, as he added three assists, two rebounds and four steals. Evans’ 29 points is the most any Suns player has scored in a game this season.
Derek Cooke Jr. achieved his team-leading third double-double on the season with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 14 rebounds, which tied a season-high. Nine of those rebounds came on the offensive end, tying the most offensive rebounds for a Suns player in a game in team history (four times before, twice by Cooke).
Northern Arizona’s bench had a solid outing Saturday as LaQuinton Ross tallied a career-high 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Daxter Miles Jr. tallied 12 points off the pine. Peter Jok recorded 15 points, six rebounds and two steals, as he was one of two Suns’ starters (Evans) to score 10+ points.
Northern Arizona got off to a good start, shooting 50 percent from the field in the first quarter. The Suns trailed by just one after the opening frame. The difference remained the same at halftime (52-51). The third quarter was critical in this one, as the Suns were outscored 31-20, shooting 9-of-26 (.346) from the field and 0-for-7 from distance, compared to Agua Caliente’s 10-of-19 (.526) clip from the field and a 6-of-11 (.545) mark from three-point land. The Suns couldn’t make up ground in the fourth quarter as it knotted at 25.
For the game, the Suns had a season-low nine turnovers. The biggest differences in the contest came from the three-point line (Clippers made 10 more) and the battle on the boards (Clippers won it 56-45).
Angel Delgado was a monster inside, coming down with 22 rebounds, 18 on the defensive end. He also tallied 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting, four assists and three blocks for his fifth double-double on the year.
Seven Clippers scored in double figures, led by Jerome Robinson and his 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep, three rebounds and three assists. Johnathan Motley (21 points, eight rebounds) also scored 20+ points, while Desi Rodriguez led the Clippers’ bench with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, to go with five rebounds.
The Suns will look to regroup at home with a Tuesday game against the Memphis Hustle that begins at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Clippers will look to make it two straight at home with a Monday game against the undefeated Santa Cruz Warriors at 8 p.m. MT.