OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – On the second night of a back-to-back set, Saturday’s game felt eerily similar to the night before, but a Northern Arizona Suns late push put them in good position to win. The Oklahoma City Blue stepped up the defense in the final two minutes to quash that hope, beating the Suns 96-88.
Neither team led by more than seven points in the first half as the Suns (6-27) put on a defensive clinic, forcing the third best shooting team in the NBA G League to a 16-of-40 (.400) clip. The Blue (22-9) trailed 46-41 at halftime. They changed the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Suns 33-19 on 13-of-23 (.565) shooting compared to NAZ’s 7-of-23 (.304) mark.
Up 16 points with 7:55 to go, it seemed the Blue had the game well in hand and the Suns would be stung by the second half once again. The Suns stayed around before making their big move, going on an 11-0 run from the 5:56 mark to 2:36 left in the contest. The Suns trailed 89-86, but they came up with two points on their last seven possessions, with one missed shot, two missed free throws and three turnovers, giving up a 7-2 spurt to lose.
Aaron Epps came up big off the bench, earning his team-leading seventh double-double of the season with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 13 rebounds. He was also one of two Suns on the positive side in the plus-minus category, putting together a +16 for the game.
George King and Peter Jok led the way with 16 points apiece. King made 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from distance, adding seven rebounds. Jok rebounded from his first game of the season not making a three-pointer with four tonight on nine attempts, shooting 5-of-11 overall, adding four rebounds and four steals. Hollis Thompson finished with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, Trayvon Palmer had 10 points and seven rebounds, with Daxter Miles Jr. dishing out a team-high eight assists, recording nine points and three steals.
The leading scorer for Oklahoma City was Richard Solomon with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, to go with eight rebounds, five steals and three assists. Scotty Hopson also had five steals to go with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Chris Wright led the Blue bench with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
With 20 road games in the books, the Suns will head home for a three-game homestand starting on Tuesday against the Stockton Kings at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Blue will hit the road for one game, getting a Monday matchup at the Salt Lake City Stars at 7 p.m. MT.