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NAZ Suns Bounced from Playoff Contention
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18 March 2018   Jake Withee

PETERS AND GRAY LEAD THRILLING GAME, BUT SUNS BOUNCED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION

Peters scored 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting from distance, Gray achieves double-double with 20 points and 11 assists

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – In what was one of the most exciting games of the season at the Prescott Valley Event Center Friday night, the Northern Arizona Suns couldn’t overcome a steep rebounding difference in their 118-114 loss to the Raptors 905.

This loss dropped Northern Arizona to 21-25 on the year, eliminating the Suns from playoff contention. The 905 clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with the win, improving to 29-17.

Alec Peters led the Suns with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, to go with three rebounds. Peters began the night 6-of-6 from distance, earning his 12th 20+ point game of the season in the process. With the seven made three-pointers, he is now averaging 3.8 three-point makes per game, the second highest average in the NBA G League.

Josh Gray achieved his sixth double-double of the season with 20 points, 11 assists, four rebounds and two steals. He had nine assists in the first half and 14 points in the second half.

Both the Suns and 905 were on fire to start the game, with NAZ making 63.6 percent from the field in the first quarter and the 905 shooting 66.7 percent. They both shot an identical 52.2 percent in the second quarter as the Raptors took a 66-65 lead into the locker room. Both got cold in the second half but the close score remained the same. Lorenzo Brown iced the contest with six made free throws at the end, part of his 10 points in the final frame. 

The main difference in this one came on the boards. The 905 outrebounded the Suns 54-31, including 18 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second chance points. The Suns made 17-of-38 (.447) from beyond the arc compared to the Raptors’ 8-of-30 (.267) clip from distance. The 905 outscored NAZ in the paint 68-50.

Kennedy Meeks powered the 905 with 25 points on 12-of-16 shooting and 15 rebounds. It marked a new season-high in scoring for the 905’s starting center, his 18th double-double on the year.

Lorenzo Brown led the Raptors with 26 points on 9-of-24 shooting, to go with nine assists and seven rebounds.

Other Suns with solid games were Xavier Silas (18 points, five rebounds, three assists), Danuel House (16 points, seven rebounds), Archie Goodwin (15 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (12 points, four rebounds, three assists).

Northern Arizona plays its last road game of the season on Sunday at 6 p.m. PT at the Santa Cruz Warriors, who were also bounced from playoff contention tonight courtesy of a Reno win over Agua Caliente. The 905 will have short rest, heading west for the second game of a back-to-back set. They play at South Bay tomorrow at 7 p.m. PT.