PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns played what was perhaps their best quarter of basketball this season and cruised after the opening frame to a 131-110 win at home over the Agua Caliente Clippers Friday night.
The Suns (13-16) jumped out to a 40-16 lead after the opening frame, making 15-of-26 (.577) from the field and five three-pointers. After scoring the first five points of the second quarter to take a 29-point lead, the Suns led big the rest of the way, only seeing their lead drop to nine points in the third.
The Clippers (14-17) have lost five consecutive games, all by 17+ points. Their point differential over the last five contests has been -132 (26.4 points per game). The two teams are now tied for fourth in the Pacific Division.
Josh Gray tallied a career-high 32 points on 13-of-20 (.650) shooting, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. He also recorded eight assists, four rebounds and five steals. The Suns’ starting point guard has scored 20+ points in six out of his last eight games, is riding a career-long 15-game streak of scoring in double figures, and has now tied Milton Doyle, Anthony Brown, Thomas Bryant and Christian Wood for the seventh most 30+ point games this season (four) in the NBA G League.
Archie Goodwin had a big night, tallying 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds. When getting the start with the Suns, Goodwin is averaging 23.0 points on 67.5 percent shooting and 7.0 rebounds (three games).
No one had a bigger night than Xavier Silas, however. Not only did he remain hot behind the arc, scoring 20 points on six made three-pointers, but he did a “Gender Reveal” following the game in front of fans at the Prescott Valley Event Center, revealing he will be having a second son.
It was a good night for the 2,111 fans in attendance and the team. The Suns shot 48-of-90 (.533) from the floor and made 22 three-pointers for the second straight game, finishing 22-of-41 (.537) from distance. NAZ also nearly doubled the Clippers in assists (25-13).
Phoenix Suns’ assignee Davon Reed recorded 17 points, six rebounds, five assists and two blocks, while Eric Stuteville rounding out the starting five with his sixth double-digit scoring game of the season, notching 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and four rebounds.
Only having seven players available because of Two-Way guys with the parent club and injuries, the shorthanded Clippers were led by Brice Johnson’s monster performance. He recorded 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting and 15 rebounds. J.J. O’Brien led the team in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while LaDontae Henton also topped the 20-point mark with 24 on 8-of-15 shooting. Ike Iroegbu (19 points on 7-of-14 shooting) and DeAndre Daniels (13 points and 11 rebounds) also had good games.
The Suns hit the road immediately for their second game of a back-to-back set in Reno tipping off at 8 p.m. MT tomorrow. The Bighorns have won 12 of their last 14 games, with one of those two losses to Northern Arizona. The Clippers head back home where they’ll host the Windy City Bulls on Sunday at 6 p.m. MT.