NBA Summer League: Marcus Morris hits game-winner as Suns drop T-Wolves

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Vine recount courtesy Zach Harper

Marcus Morris made up for a 5-for-14 shooting day, but it took him just a tick over 40 minutes to do so. A buzzer-beating 20-foot jumper by Morris gave the Suns a 91-89 summer league win Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves as Phoenix overcame a lazy start that led to a 24-point deficit.

Minnesota hit 7-of-9 three-pointers to start the evening, and the Suns didn’t find much more success in the second quarter, at one point trailing by 24 before finding themselves behind 49-21 at halftime.

And like the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday, coach Jeff Hornacek proved to make the right adjustments at the half. Or maybe he just said the right things as the Suns moved to 2-0 in summer league play. Phoenix opened the second half on a 14-4 run and won the quarter 31-20 to trail by just seven heading into the final period.

Kendall Marshall dominated toward the end of the game but was steady as can be throughout. He hit two three-pointers in the final minutes, found Markieff Morris for another jumper and hit P.J. Tucker with a whipping pass on a broken play to tie the game at 89 before Marcus’ game-winner.

Marshall finished with 13 points, six assists (it looked like it should’ve been more after the last two passes) and no turnovers.

The good and bad of the Morri

Marcus started Monday much like his brother did on Saturday. He forced shots, got caught on the perimeter instead of using his athleticism as an advantage and used his hands too much.

He was a black hole on an offense that only recorded three first-half assists. Once Marcus caught the ball, a shot was going up no matter how poor the look was going to be.

Markieff, oddly enough, was a model of efficiency, leading the Suns with 22 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He scored easily on nice passes from his teammates, finishing above the rim and running the floor in transition.

But Markieff earned his second technical foul in two games. After arguing on a foul called against Archie Goodwin in the summer league opener, Markieff picked up a technical from the bench after the referee called a kick ball against brother Marcus on an inbounds pass.

Marcus later got a technical after a foul was called against Minnesota on an illegal screen – apparently the Suns forward reacted thinking the foul was called on Goodwin, who took the hit and fell down on the screen.

For Minnesota, forward Robbie Hummel played like Suns fans would like to see the Morris twins play. He was deadly as a jumpshooter from the forward spot — he led the T-Wolves with 18 points — and grabbed seven rebounds in 25 minutes despite lacking the athleticism of Phoenix’s twins.

Goodwin comes back down to earth

Archie Goodwin is 18 years old, and this is just one of the lumps he’ll take along the way. A 13-point outburst by the Suns’ 29th overall pick alluded to his confidence in what was considered broken – his jump shot.

Though there’s a noticeable release problem that sends the shot sideways and makes it flat, Goodwin showed nice touch Saturday.

But Monday, Goodwin was quickly apprehensive on open jumpers. He passed up several open looks and instead looked to drive, which itself isn’t all that concerning if it weren’t for the obvious lack in confidence he developed so quickly within a single game. Goodwin also missed two early free throws and visibly showed frustration after missing the second. He finished with two points, four fouls and five turnovers.

Let’s talk Diante

Phoenix’s other second-year point guard, Diante Garrett, is fighting for a place in the league. So far, he’s not done much to show he’s better than last season. The biggest issue is his strength. A game ago, the issue arose when he was stripped and bodied on offense. In the second game, Garrett’s small frame got beat up on pick-and-rolls. Once hit by big men, he often got himself caught recovering from the blow and slow to get back in front of his man.

Christmas pun goes here

Temple product Dionte Christmas gave Phoenix another perimeter threat and finally got hot in the second half. The shot-happy guard scored 16 points off the bench.

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Tags: 2013 Nba Summer League

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