STOCKTON, Calif. – The Northern Arizona Suns were a little slow off the jump, and it didn’t get much better in their 114-93 loss at the Stockton Kings.
Facing the newly rebranded Kings for the first time this season, the Suns (2-7) fell behind early largely due to cold shooting, netting just a 7-of-25 (.280) clip. The Kings (4-4) meanwhile looked fresh after enjoying a six-day break in-between games, shooting 14-of-22 (.636) in the opening frame. They held a 35-16 lead after the first quarter.
Daxter Miles Jr. was a bright spot in the second quarter as he scored eight points, but the Suns’ shooting woes continued, leading to a 29-point deficit (65-36) at halftime. The Suns got out of their funk in the third quarter, shooting 11-of-18 (.611) from the field, with Jawun Evans leading the pack in the frame with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. The Suns held the Kings to just 16 points in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late.
Evans led the Suns with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting (2-2 3FG, 5-6 FT), to go with three assists and two steals. Miles led the bench with 13 points, and Cooke secured 13 rebounds to go with nine points off the pine. Daniel Dixon made his first start of the season and flirted with a triple-double, recording 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Eric Stuteville (15 points, eight rebounds) and Peter Jok (11 points) also reached double figures for the Suns.
Northern Arizona’s losing streak extended to three games long as the Suns were outrebounded 53-44, helping lead the Kings to a 23-11 advantage in second chance points.
The Kings had seven players score in double figures, led by Kalin Lucas off the bench with 23 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. Three others off the bench notched 10+ points, including Taren Sullivan (16 points), Anthony Walker (12 points, eight rebounds) and Uchenna Iroegbu (11 points), as the Kings’ bench outscored the Suns’ bench 65-30.
Stockton’s Daniel Ochefu (16 points, 10 rebounds) and Wenyen Gabriel (13 points, 12 rebounds) had the only double-doubles in the game.
The Suns have no time to dwell on this one, playing a back-to-back set that concludes tomorrow at the Agua Caliente Clippers at 8 p.m. MT. The Kings will get the weekend off before returning to the court at home against the Texas Legends at 8 p.m. MT.