Monday’s game against Minnesota turned from disappointment to victory, as the Suns win 91-89.
The first half was a disaster with Phoenix digging themselves an 18-point hole by halftime, partially due to some perimeter sharp shooting by the Timberwolves. Minnesota went 8-15 from behind the arc in the first two periods for blistering 53.3% behind the line.
Coming out of halftime, Phoenix picked up the intensity and went on a huge run in the first three minutes to bring the score within eight. This included another Kendall Marshall three-pointer and a Markieff three, which would have been a four-point play if he had made the free throw. Marshall missed a few more three’s, but if they leave him open, he’s got to shoot it.
Marshall’s passing has been great and as a team, the entry passes to the Morris twins have been spectacular.
The Suns went on a 9-2 run to end the third quarter, cutting Minnesota’s lead to seven going into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Marshall ran down an errant pass and threw it back in. After a few tips it resulted in a foul on Minnesota. The commentator said, “He put it into another gear”. I don’t know what gear that is, but it’s a good sign. Also, his defense has been better.
From what I’m seeing, I would predict that Dionte Christmas will be the player to make the roster other than the obvious ones who are already on it, (i.e. Tucker, Morris twins, Marshall, Garrett, Goodwin).
Kendall Marshall hit a deep three that swishes through to bring Phoenix close. Commentator says, “He shot that with confidence”. Markieff hits another deep three. Momentum has already shifted in their favor. The Suns steal the ball and Kendall hits a pull up three in transition.
Marcus Morris gets steal on Shabazz Muhammad and Phoenix calls a timeout with 3.3 seconds left on the game clock.
After a series of screens, Marcus Morris gets free and hits a 20-foot fadaway shot with Solomon Jones draped all over him for the game-winner!
The 91 points for Phoenix was a summer league high and 60 of them were scored in the second half.
After the game, Marcus said, “Our energy was bad, we were sluggish. We had to come out with energy in the second half.” And that was the key. The intensity picked up and the shots started falling, then Marcus finished Minnesota off with the dagger.
Phoenix is now 2-0 in Vegas and play again Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies’ summer league squad at 8:30 Eastern Time.