CEDAR PARK, Texas – Just when it looked like the Northern Arizona Suns had it wrapped up, the Austin Spurs stormed back to force overtime, and ended up stealing the game in Cedar Park, Texas.
The Spurs won 117-114 on Friday in the Suns’ first overtime game of the season. The Suns (8-33) lost their 13th straight game, while the Spurs (23-17) maintained their hold on the third seed in the Western Conference.
The Suns led 103-94 with 2:12 remaining in the fourth quarter before the Spurs ended regulation on an 11-2 run. With 24.0 seconds left, Chimezie Metu tied it at 105 with a fastbreak dunk. Jared Harper got a good look from distance at the buzzer for the win, but it rimmed out.
Metu started the scoring in overtime with another dunk, and the Suns didn’t score until there was 20.1 seconds left. However, down six with 19.5 ticks left, Harper made a three, then followed with another three on the next possession to get the Suns within one. After the teams traded some free throws, Ike Nwamu had a chance to tie it with a half-court heave as time expired, but it hit back iron.
Tonight’s game was a nail biter throughout, with 14 lead changes, 13 ties, and a single-digit deficit for either team for more than 47 minutes of the 50 that were played. The Suns led by as many 13, and only trailed by as many as six. Austin got 15 more shot attempts, making 44-of-100 (.440) to NAZ’s 41-of-85 (.482) clip, thanks to a 52-38 rebounding advantage for the Spurs.
Harper recorded his second straight double-double with 25 points (10-23 FG, 3-7 3PT) and 11 assists. This was Harper’s 21st 20+ point game of the season, tied for the fourth most such games in the league. It’s also the third most such games in a single-season in Suns history. He has joined ShawnDre Jones, Josh Gray, and Shaquille Harrison as the only Suns players to have consecutive 10+ assist games.
Nwamu earned his second straight 20+ point game with 22 points and four rebounds. He has tied Gray for the most 20+ point games as a reserve in team history, earning his ninth such game in just his 19th contest with NAZ.
Jalen Lecque tallied 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Tariq Owens had 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Aaron Epps achieved his fifth double-double of the year and 16th of his career with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Austin’s Kenny Williams scored a career-high 31 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including 7-of-14 from distance, plus 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Three other Spurs had big games. Galen Robinson Jr. had 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, seven assists and four rebounds. Metu finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Dedric Lawson recorded 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Suns stay in Texas but hit the road again, as they’ll face the Rio Grande Valley Vipers tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. MT. The Spurs will finish their three-game homestand on Sunday against the Oklahoma City Blue at 3 p.m. MT.