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NAZ Suns Suffer Big Defeat at Hands of Memphis Hustle

By Jacob Withee | December 16, 2018

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns fell behind early and never were able to catch up against the Memphis Hustle on Sunday afternoon, dropping the home contest at the Prescott Valley Event Center 119-79.

The 40-point loss for the Suns (3-16) is their largest margin of defeat in team history (25 at South Bay on Jan. 31, 2018). Their 79 points are the fewest amount scored in team history (81 at Austin on Dec. 6, 2018).

The Hustle (10-7) got off to an electric start, scoring the first 14 points of the game over the first 3:16. The Suns got the deficit back to nine points late in the first before dropping the opening frame 35-20. It was a preview of what was to come, as Dusty Hannahs sank three three-pointers in the first quarter as part of his 12 points in the first 12 minutes. The Suns made 6-of-25 (.240) shots in the second quarter as Memphis’ Tyler Harvey made three three-pointers, also part of his 12 points in the 36-17 frame.

The Suns came out in the third quarter with good energy shooting 10-of-19 (.526) from the field, but it didn’t come easy in the fourth (5-of-21, .238), as NAZ trailed by as many as 43 points in the final frame.

For the game, Memphis outshot NAZ 42-of-84 (.500) to 29-of-84 (.345), while making 17-of-35 (.486) from downtown. The Suns committed 10 less turnovers, only giving up 13 points on 13 miscues, but the 61-26 rebounding difference was too much to overcome.

Daxter Miles Jr. led the Suns with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, earning his fourth 20+ point game of his career. Elie Okobo notched 14 points and six assists, with Peter Jok making his return off the bench to finish with 11 points and three steals. Derek Cooke Jr. had five steals on the day to go with four points and five rebounds.

Hannahs had a season-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, to go with six rebounds off the bench. It was his second career 30+ point game, as he dropped 33 points against the Suns on Dec. 31, 2017.

Four Hustle starters scored in double figures, including Doral Moore, who had the game’s lone double-double with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Harvey had 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting and five rebounds, Tarik Phillip had 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, while D.J. Stephens finished with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting and eight rebounds.

Both these teams are off to the 2018 MGM Resorts NBA G League Winter Showcase next. The Suns will look to snap a six-game losing streak on Wednesday against the Windy City Bulls at 8:30 p.m. MT at Mandalay Bay Events Center. The Hustle will take on the Raptors 905 on Wednesday at 1 p.m. MT at the same location.

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