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Suns’ Alec Peters catches fire for career-high 36 in season finale win

Dallas Mavericks' Kyle Collinsworth (8) defends as Phoenix Suns forward Alec Peters (25) drives to the basket for a shot in the second half of a NBA basketball game in Dallas, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

If Phoenix Suns rookie Alec Peters’ name didn’t ring a bell prior to Tuesday night, no one could blame you.

While he was selected in the 2017 NBA Draft, it was at No. 54 overall and he was not a factor in the team’s season.

On a two-way contract and jumping from the G League roster to the Suns’ roster routinely, Peters played in 196 total minutes prior to the season finale against the Dallas Mavericks.

So, naturally, Peters scored a career-high 36 points in 28 minutes off the bench during the team’s 124-97 win.

Known for his shooting and quick-fire release out of Valparaiso, the outburst was even more surprising when you consider Peters shot 10-of-45 from 3-point range entering the game.

He nearly hit his total for the whole season on Tuesday night, making a Suns rookie record eight three-pointers.

“AP got it going a little bit and it was fun to watch and his teammates turned him on because he’s such a hard worker,” Suns interim head coach Jay Triano said after the game.

Peters can catch and shoot the ball from any angle. Coming off a screen and turning toward the basket while shooting in one motion? No problem.

Even when the pass is off and he fumbles the catch, Peters can still get the ball off in a quick enough fashion to get a good look.

Peters’ 36 tied Josh Jackson and Walter Davis for the fifth-most points scored in a game by a Suns rookie.

It appears Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was amused by it all.

Peters was given the opportunity because both teams were ravaged by injuries in the last game of the season.

The Suns were without Devin Booker, Alan Williams, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, Troy Daniels, Elfrid Payton, T.J. Warren and Tyson Chandler while the Mavericks didn’t have Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes or Doug McDermott. That’s not even including the season-ending injuries to Brandon Knight, Isaiah Canaan, Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea, Wesley Matthews and Seth Curry.

The final score did not tell the story of the full game.

The Suns trailed 54-44 at halftime of what was a game lacking any real energy.

From there, the Suns scored 80 points in the second half, the most they’ve scored in the final two quarters since March of 2009.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, only scored 44 and didn’t stop the Suns from putting up multiple highlight dunks.

The Suns finished the season 21-61, the worst record in the NBA.

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