PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona Suns outplayed the Texas Legends in almost every facet of the fourth and final matchup between the two teams this season, but yet the scoreboard still showed a 107-101 win for Texas.
The Suns (21-25) outshot, outrebounded and dished out a new season-high in assists, but the Legends came away from the Prescott Valley Event Center Thursday night with a victory.
It was a close battle between both teams for the entirety of the game, with no double-digit leads at any point, 13 lead changes and seven ties.
The Legends (25-22) got the better of the Suns at the end, when it was just a two-point game with 2:40 left to go. NAZ was only able to score one point the remainder of the contest, as they went 0-for-4 from the field and 1-of-4 from the free throw line in that closing span.
With the win over the Suns, the Legends won the season-series 3-1, marking their eighth series win against D-League teams this season, and stayed alive by the thinnest of margins in the postseason race. Santa Cruz (28-19) also won tonight, meaning Texas is three games back of the Warriors with three games to go, with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (26-20) also standing in their way.
This marked almost a surprising loss for Northern Arizona, based off how the game played out. The Suns outshot the Legends 40-of-87 (.460) to 38-of-91 (.418). Northern Arizona outrebounded Texas 48-40. The Suns had a season-high 30 assists on 40 made field goals, all while playing lockdown defense against the D-League’s second-highest scoring team. Texas had scored 120+ points in their last six games, a streak that was broken tonight.
The thorns in the Suns’ side was their three-point shooting (8-of-34 for 23.5 percent) and their unusual amount of turnovers (20, 5.3 more than average).
Xavier Silas led the Suns with 18 points and was one of five NAZ players to score in double figures. Elijah Millsap (16 points, seven assists, six rebounds, two steals), Josh Gray (15 points, four assists, three rebounds, two steals), Alex Davis (12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) and Chris McCullough (12 points) all reached that magic number. Derek Cooke Jr. contributed eight points and 10 rebounds.
Texas was led by a 20+ point scoring trio. Jameel Warney followed up his big game last night with 23 points and 15 rebounds, leading everybody in both categories. Pierre Jackson tallied 22 points and eight assists, while Stephane Lasme put up 21 points and eight rebounds.
The Suns hit the road once again for a two-game stint starting Saturday against the Iowa Energy at 5 p.m. PT. Northern Arizona is looking to win the series 3-1 against them. The Legends finished their road trip 4-2 and head back to Dr. Pepper Arena for their last regular season home game. They will play the Austin Spurs on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. PT.