EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Shaquille Harrison got off to a hot start and kept it going all night. Unfortunately for the Northern Arizona Suns, the opposing point guard had an even better game, as the South Bay Lakers took it at the UCLA Health Training Center 123-118 on Friday night.
Harrison tallied a career-high 12 assists, adding 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting for his third double-double of the season (fourth of his career). Lakers point guard Scott Machado achieved his first career triple-double, posting 16 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Suns (16-19) fell behind early to the Lakers (22-13) by 11. Thanks to Harrison’s 13 first quarter points, the Suns rallied and closed to just a five-point deficit, 34-29. The Suns exploded for 42 points in the second quarter to snag the lead, 71-69.
After another close quarter, South Bay took a one-point lead into the fourth, and was able to hold off Northern Arizona at the end. The Suns had their chances, with their best chance coming down three points with the ball and less than 30 seconds left. A Harrison three-pointer went wide left and the Lakers held on to take a 3-0 series lead over Northern Arizona.
The Suns’ bench had a solid outing, outscoring the Lakers’ bench 53-37. Archie Goodwin led the reserves with 20 points thanks to a 10-of-12 clip from the free throw line, to go with five steals and three rebounds. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had his third straight double-digit scoring game, posting 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 3-of-7 from distance and nine rebounds off the pine. Mike Young also came off the bench to notch 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Team USA training camp invitee Xavier Silas recorded 15 points and eight rebounds, while Danuel House had 14 points, three rebounds and three assists. Alec Peters returned to NAZ for his first game since Jan. 20, posting five points and seven rebounds. Lavoy Allen made his NBA G League debut, getting the start to tally six points, five rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes.
Coming off winning the last NBA G League Player of the Week award, Travis Wear achieved a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Thomas Bryant tallied 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting, eight rebounds and two blocks. Three other Lakers scored in double figures, with Demarcus Holland scoring 18 points, Stephaun Branch dropping 16 points and Michael Holyfield finishing with 12 points.
The Suns will play their last game before the All-Star break at the Agua Caliente Clippers on Sunday at 8 p.m. MT. South Bay will play its first of a back-to-back set before the break on Sunday against the Santa Cruz Warriors at 7 p.m. MT.
– NAZSuns.com –