72 hours after their streak-snapping win over the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns were riding a bit of momentum coming into Saturday night’s contest at the Target Center.
And in a game with little value to the standings, the Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves played 48 minutes of up-and-down basketball. The three-point shots were aplenty, defense wasn’t a prominent theme and the game took on a frenetic, yet sloppy pace.
That pace, however, eventually sent Phoenix home with their tenth loss in 11 games. Despite a terrific first quarter (28 points on 12-of-20 shooting), Lindsey Hunter’s squad turned the ball over 28 times and
fell to the Timberwolves 105-93.
Wesley Johnson’s second return to Minneapolis went far better than his first appearance back at the Target Center. The third-year swingman had 15 points (7-of-13 shooting) and was active at the offensive end — both on the perimeter and in the paint.
Along with Johnson, Phoenix received plenty of offense from Markieff Morris. The former first-round pick had his fourth straight double-digit performance (20 points on 8-of-11 shooting) and also grabbed nine boards.
The Suns’ defense really let up after half, as Minnesota scored 27 points in the third quarter. If not for P.J. Tucker’s seven points in the period, Phoenix’s deficit might have been far greater than four.
Goran Dragic also recorded his 14th double-digit assist game since the All-Star break.
Not to hammer home the point, but turnovers killed the Suns Saturday night. The team’s 28 giveaways turned into 33 Minnesota points.
Every time it seemed like the Suns were close to whittling down the Wolves’ lead late in the contest, a sloppy possession seemed to follow.
Ricky Rubio came into the contest shooting 35.8 percent from the field. The Suns had no problem allowing the Spanish point guard to increase that average. Rubio had 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting.
• Michael Beasley missed his third straight game. He is currently back in Phoenix after the birth of his daughter.
• Jermaine O’Neal missed the contest due to a bruised shin.
• The Wolves took the season series (3-1) with the Suns
for the first time since 2003-2004.
The Suns will host their home finale Monday against the Houston Rockets at US Airways Center. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m.