NBA: Suns fail to finish in the 4th
Another 4th Quarter Tumble
By: Brendan Kennealy
Phoenix was firing on all cylinders throughout the first 44 minutes of their game on Tuesday night vs Minnesota, but it all fell to ruins when Goran Dragic fouled out with 3:56 remaining, eventually losing 110-101.
Phoenix squandered their 91-83 lead with less than eight minutes to go, in very similar fashion to their double-digit collapse on Sunday.
Minnesota PF Kevin Love proved to be too much to handle down the stretch run. Love finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists. He also extended his streak of at least 30 points and at least 10 rebounds to six consecutive games.
The Suns bench was the bright spot of the evening as the Morris twins, Ish Smith, and Archie Goodwin combined for 50 points. A pair of alley-oops from Marcus to Markieff got the crowd at US Airways Center going crazy. Markieff finished with 24 points, leading the way for the Suns. PJ Tucker had 6 points and an astonishing 16 rebounds.
Dragic injured his ankle in the 3rd quarter and was out of the game for 10 minutes. During that time Smith was making passes that made you double-take, thinking the Suns had magically gotten Chris Paul to back up Dragic. Smith finished with 7 points, 7 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds.
Phoenix had 50 rebounds compared to Minnesota’s 38, outscored them on the fast break 28-11, and owned the post by outscoring them 60-56 in the paint, but the Suns just couldn’t find an offensive solution in the final four minutes. The Suns entered first in the NBA in three-point shots made per game with 9.4, but only hit three of their 15 attempts.
The Suns need to rebound quickly as they play the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday night. They tip off at 7:00pm MT at EnergySolutions Arena.
You can reach Brendan Kennealy by email at Brendan.firstname.lastname@example.org and/or via twitter at @brendankennealy