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Second Half Turns Sour for Suns in Loss

By Jacob Withee | January 26, 2019

FRISCO, Texas – On National Opposite Day, it only made sense that the first half between the Northern Arizona Suns and Texas Legends was extremely competitive, and the second half was – well, the opposite.

During the first 24 minutes, there were 18 lead changes and 14 ties, with the Suns taking a 59-56 lead into the locker room. In the second half, there was just one lead change and two ties, as Texas rolled 70-48, taking the game 126-107.

Beating the Legends on Saturday as the Northern Arizona Rodeo Clowns, the Suns (6-26) came into Friday night’s game at Comerica Center winning three of their past four games. The Legends (12-20) had done the same, making it four wins in their last five games counting tonight.

The Suns started off on fire yet again, making 14-of-23 (.609) in the first quarter. Over their past four games, they’ve combined to make 52-of-86 (.604) in the opening frame. NAZ would shoot relatively well the rest of the game, but Texas countered with their own good shooting mark, including an incredible mark from downtown. The Legends finished 16-of-27 (.593) from beyond the arc, shooting 45-of-86 (.523) from the field. The Suns finished 42-of-82 (.512) from the field but were hampered by 20 turnovers that led to 24 points. The Legends also earned 15 more free throw attempts, shooting 20-of-33 (.606) from the charity stripe compared to NAZ’s perfect mark (18-of-18). In two games between these two teams this year, Texas has shot 72 free throws, while the Suns have attempted 34.

Seven Suns scored in double figures tonight, led by George King’s 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He also added six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. Eric Stuteville and Daxter Miles Jr. each scored 14 points, with Stuteville making every shot (6-of-6). Jawun Evans (12 points, nine assists, two blocks), Hollis Thompson (12 points, six rebounds, three assists), Trayvon Palmer (11 points, five rebounds) and Aaron Epps (10 points, eight rebounds) rounded out the double-digit scoring.

Portland Trail Blazers’ assignee Gary Trent Jr. notched a game-high 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting, including 6-of-7 from distance, to go with six rebounds and four steals. Trent started the game shooting 2-of-10, finishing 9-of-11. Keith Hornsby scored 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting, making 7-of-9 from three-point land. Ray Spalding (13 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals) and Xavier Rathan-Mayes (10 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds) provided the game’s two double-doubles.

The Suns will head straight to Oklahoma City to finish another rroad back-to-back set, where they’ll take on the Blue tomorrow at 6 p.m. MT. The Legends also have a back-to-back, as they’ll play at the Rio Grande Valley Vipers tomorrow at 6 p.m. MT.