PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – Like last year, everyone in attendance at the Northern Arizona Suns Kids Day Game got to witness an exhilarating game, but this time the Suns came up just short.
The Salt Lake City Stars knocked off the Suns 95-88 in overtime, as they outscored NAZ 8-1 in the extra two-minute period. The loss for the Suns (6-25) snapped their season-long three-game winning streak. The Stars (14-13) moved above .500 and avoided setting their longest losing streak, snapping a two-game skid.
This was the second annual Kids Day Game for the Suns, as 2,570 fans attended the 11 a.m. tip-off Tuesday at the Findlay Toyota Center. Last year, the Suns came back from a 19-point fourth quarter deficit to win.
In this one, both teams came out firing, with the Suns shooting 11-of-18 (.611) from the field and 3-of-6 (.500) from distance. They were outscored 31-27 in the opening frame, with Salt Lake City shooting 11-of-19 (.579) from the field and 6-of-9 (.667) from distance in the first 12 minutes. Both teams cooled off considerably the rest of the game. NAZ ended up shooting 35-of-79 (.443) from the floor and 8-of-28 (.286) from beyond the arc, compared to SLC’s 34-of-80 (.425) clip, 11-of-28 (.393) from deep.
The biggest lead in the game for either team was eight points, with 14 ties and 14 lead changes. The Suns forced Salt Lake City to just 12 points in the third quarter, taking a 68-63 lead into the fourth. The Stars were up four points with more than three minutes left in regulation, but NAZ didn’t allow another point the rest of the fourth quarter, forcing seven missed shots and a turnover. In overtime, the Stars made their first three shots for a 7-0 run, putting the nail in the coffin.
Hollis Thompson recorded his sixth 20+ point game in his 12th contest of the season, tallying 21 points and six rebounds. Trayvon Palmer (12 points, 14 rebounds, four assists) powered the bench with his second career double-double, his first with the Suns and first since Dec. 1 vs. Texas, while with Santa Cruz. George King just missed out on a double-double, recording 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting, nine rebounds and three steals. Jawun Evans also reached double-digit scoring, earning 15 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals.
Four Stars scored 10+ points, led by Shonn Miller’s 18 on 6-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from distance) to go with eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Trevon Bluiett had 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Jairus Lyles led the Stars’ bench with 16 points and six rebounds, with newcomer Tanner McGrew chipping in 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
The Suns will get ready for another road back-to-back set, beginning at the Texas Legends on Friday at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Stars will finish their three-game road trip at the Agua Caliente Clippers on Thursday at 8 p.m. MT.