Alex Len Score Career High 31 as Suns Beat Magic, 102-84
After facing the Miami Ex-Suns on Thursday night, the Suns stayed in Florida and headed to Orlando to take on the Magic. The Suns had lost their previous 17 games on the road, and showed early on they no longer wanted to continue that streak. A big third quarter helped propel the Suns to a 102-84 victory in Orlando.
The Suns started the game with intensity, and it quickly became the battle of the big men down low. Alex Len went at Nikola Vucevic early in the game, and to say he had success would be putting it lightly. Len scored 14 points in the first quarter, and was able to add four rebounds. On the other side of the ball, Elfrid Payton was flexing his own offensive game, scoring 13 points for the Magic in the first quarter, hitting a shot from the three point line. The score was tied at 29 after the first, but the tie wouldn’t last for much longer. The Suns outscored the Magic 29-21 in the second quarter, with the Suns’ reserves picking up where the starters left off. Jenkins, Goodwin, Leuer, and Teletovic all scored in the second quarter, and shooting 51% from the field compared to the Magic’s 39% also helped. The Suns took a 58-50 lead into halftime, with Len leading the charge for the Suns with 18 points.
The Suns were able to blow the game wide open in the third quarter, starting the quarter on a 16-0 run, and forcing the Magic to miss 17 shots in a row. Ronnie Price was everywhere on the defensive end of the floor, and even showed he still has some lift left in his legs. After getting a steal, he wound up and was able to rattle the rim to finish the fast break. Len scored another seven points in the third quarter, hitting a new career high in points, and getting himself to the line to get some easy points. The Suns finished the third quarter up by 18 points after outscoring the Magic 26-16 in the quarter. The Suns looked at time a little too comfortable with the lead in the fourth quarter, and at time looked like they might let the Magic back into the game. The cruise control Suns were able to keep their lead, and continued to feed Len in the post to push the lead back to 18. The Suns beat the Magic with a score of 102-84, breaking their 17 game road losing streak. The Suns shot 35-78(44.9%) from the field, shot only 5-14(35.7%) from the three point line and 27-39(69.2%) from the free throw line. The Suns will play their next game against the Grizzlies on Sunday.
Alex Len had another powerful performance in the post tonight. He scored a career high 31 points tonight on 10-22 shooting and 11-14 from the free throw line. Len also grabbed 15 rebounds, picked up a steal, and had two blocks in nearly 36 minutes of playing time. He finished the night with a plus/minus of plus 28. Len has looked strong from the starting lineup all year, and showed it once again tonight against another quality center.
The next highest scorers for the Suns were Ronnie Price and Devin Booker with 14 points a piece. While it would be easy to talk about Booker once again, I’m going to give some love to Price. Price went 6-10 from the field, shooting 2-4 from the free throw line and played his usual hard defense all night. He racked up five rebounds, four assists, five steals, and a block to add to his 14 points. He was a big reason for the Suns’ strong third quarter, and he appeared at times to be everywhere on the defensive end.