Suns Nearly Set G League Record in Rout of Warriors

By Jacob Withee | December 13, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The game was never close. That didn’t mean it wasn’t exciting.

The Northern Arizona Suns hosted the Santa Cruz Warriors at the Prescott Valley Event Center on Tuesday night, just hours after making a flurry of moves, first trading their 2018 first-round pick to the Agua Caliente Clippers in exchange for five-year veteran Isaiah Canaan, and then bringing back forward Derrick Jones Jr.

The busy day only got busier as the Suns (6-9) throttled the Warriors (10-7) 138-94, earning the largest margin of victory in team history.

The Suns bested their 31-point win against the Grand Rapids Drive at home on Jan. 14, 2017, with this 44-point annihilation. Of course, the home fans were enjoying the blowout, but things got even more interesting when the Suns held a 54-point lead. Northern Arizona was close to earning the largest margin of victory in NBA League history.

Alas, Santa Cruz went on a 13-0 run following its 54-point deficit to avoid being on the wrong side of history. Only the Raptors 905 have won a game by 50 or more points in the league, as they beat the Texas Legends by 56 (136-80) on the road on Feb. 5, 2016. All was not lost, however. The Suns did manage to tie the sixth largest margin of victory the league has ever seen.

Xavier Silas led the charge for NAZ, although he played the third fewest minutes on the team. He had a game-high 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting from beyond the arc, to go with three rebounds and two steals in just 17 minutes. Silas has made 18 three-pointers in the last three games (18-for-34, .529), and has scored 20+ points in four consecutive games.

As a team, the Suns made 15 more three-pointers than the Warriors, tying a team-record for most three-pointers made in a game with a 23-of-50 (.460) clip. From the field, NAZ shot 50-of-96 (.521) and the Suns turned the ball over 10 less times.

Canaan got the start in his Suns debut. He posted 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 3-of-4 from the three-point line, and six assists. It was his first game in the NBA G League since Jan. 24, 2015, playing with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

Jones made his return to the team and achieved his team-leading fourth double-double of the year, recording 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, 10 rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Alec Peters got close to a double-double himself with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and nine rebounds. Askia Booker, who came off the bench for the first time this season, led the group with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-8 from the three-point line, to go with four rebounds. Josh Gray scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting.

Damion Lee led Santa Cruz with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting off the bench, to go with five rebounds. Damian Jones posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Avry Holmes (18 points), Georges Niang (16 points, eight rebounds, six assists) and Cleanthony Early (11 points) all scored in double figures.

The Suns broke a three-game skid and hit the road for the first game of a back-to-back set on Friday at 6 p.m. MT. They play the Iowa Energy, a team they are 2-0 against this season and 5-1 against overall. The Warriors get to go home after a 1-2 three-game trip, as they host the Memphis Hustle on Friday at 8 p.m. MT.

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