Santa Loses Wish List, Suns Don’t Get W in Christmas Game

By Jacob Withee | December 23, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – All the Northern Arizona Suns wanted for Christmas was a W, but Santa Claus had other plans.

The Suns lost at home Friday night in their Christmas game to the Oklahoma City Blue 120-114.

Three Suns had monster games, with career-highs the theme. Alec Peters led all scorers with 31 points, tallying his third 30-point game of the year, tying Josh Gray for most on the team. He also secured 11 rebounds, achieving his fifth double-double on the year, tying Derrick Jones Jr. for most on the team. He shot 12-of-21 from the field, including 5-of-11 from distance.

Shaquille Harrison came off the bench to have a huge game, scoring a career-high 29 points and gathering a season-high 11 rebounds, achieving his first double-double on the year. He surpassed his two 27-point games of the season (last on Nov. 16 vs. Long Island), and got his second career-double (Feb. 13, 2017, at Long Island). He shot 12-of-18 from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, to go with three assists and four steals.

Askia Booker achieved a new career-high 12 assists, besting five different 10-assist games. He also notched 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals, earning his second double-double on the year (Nov. 21, vs. Austin).

The Suns (7-12) got off to a great start in this one, shooting 14-of-21 (.667) from the field in the first quarter, taking a 39-24 lead. Harrison tied the most points by a Suns player in a single quarter this year with 14 in the first on 6-of-7 shooting in just seven minutes.

The Blue (10-10) bounced back in the second frame and trailed by just three points at halftime. The remainder of the game was airtight with the Suns leading by six heading into the final frame.

NAZ shot just 7-of-25 (.280) in the fourth quarter and got outrebounded 20-10 in the last 12 minutes. OKC started the fourth on a 12-0 run to take the lead, a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the game.

Daniel Hamilton achieved his sixth triple-double of the year with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. The rest of the NBA G League has just four triple-doubles combined, with no player owning more than one to his name.

Bryce Alford led the Blue with 24 points off the bench thanks to 7-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc, to go with six rebounds and three assists.

Eight different Oklahoma City players scored in double figures; Rashawn Thomas (18 points and five assists), Myke Henry (17 points and 11 rebounds), PJ Dozier (13 points and eight rebounds), Markel Brown (13 points, five assists and four rebounds), Mike Cobbins (10 points and four rebounds) and Justin Leon (10 points).

Also having solid games for NAZ were Jones (16 points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks), Gray (10 points and eight assists) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (nine points and seven rebounds).

The Suns get a nice long break, as they don’t play again until Dec. 29, when they head to Sioux Falls to take on the Skyforce at 6 p.m. MT. The same goes for the Blue, as their next game is at Salt Lake City on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. MT.

Related articles