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Suns Hold Own Against 5 LA Lakers, Drop Game at South Bay

By Jacob Withee | December 29, 2018

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Playing against five current Los Angeles Lakers players, the Northern Arizona Suns held their own and nearly made a 20-point comeback before losing to the South Bay Lakers 119-114.

The Suns (3-19) scored 36 points off of 29 turnovers by the Lakers (10-12) at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California, Saturday night. Capitalizing off of South Bay’s miscues nearly paved the way for a big comeback victory, as Northern Arizona fell behind by 20 points late in the third quarter. Northern Arizona outscored South Bay 37-28 in the final frame, getting within five, but South Bay’s 16 free throw attempts in the fourth kept the Lakers ahead for good.

Five Los Angeles Lakers played 139 of the 240 shared minutes, combining for 90 of the team’s 119 points. Los Angeles’ assignee Svi Mykhailiuk scored 47 points on 16-of-23 shooting (5-9 3PT, 10-11 FT). That’s the most points scored against the Suns in a game in Northern Arizona history, besting the 40 scored by Santa Cruz’s Jabari Brown on March 18, 2018.

The Suns had great individual performances as well, led by Hollis Thompson, who tallied 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, three rebounds, four assists and four steals. This marks Thompson’s second 20+ point game in three contests with the NAZ Suns, and his first stretch of 20+ point performances since he had three in a row from Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 2017, while with the Austin Spurs.

Jawun Evans made his return after spending three weeks with the Phoenix Suns. He tallied a double-double with 14 points and 13 assists, to go with five rebounds. This was his first career double-double as he posted a career-high in assists, besting his previous two eight-assist nights. Aaron Epps also recorded a double-double, his off the bench with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting (3-3 3PT) and 10 rebounds. This was Epps’ fifth double-double of the season and third in his last five games.

George King notched his sixth 20+ point performance on the year with 22 points on 9-of-16 shooting (4-9 3PT), eight rebounds and five steals. Peter Jok led the bench with 17 points, to go with five rebounds and four steals.

Lakers’ Two-Way guard Alex Caruso recorded 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, eight steals, five rebounds and four assists. This was the fifth eight-steal game in the NBA G League this year, including one by Northern Arizona’s Evans on Dec. 8. Los Angeles Lakers Moritz Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Johnathan Williams also played tonight.

The Suns have lost nine straight games, tying their longest losing streak in team history (Dec. 14, 2016, through Jan. 7, 2017). The Lakers snapped a season-long tying three-game losing streak tonight.

The Suns will continue the road trip tomorrow with a game against the Santa Cruz Warriors at 7 p.m. MT. The Lakers don’t play again until Thursday, when they’ll end a three-game homestand against the Oklahoma City Blue at 8 p.m. MT.

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