PHOENIX SUNS

Phoenix Suns fall to Timberwolves in first post-trade deadline game: By the Numbers

Feb 21, 2015, 3:58 AM | Updated: 4:13 am

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The Phoenix Suns’ first game after a wild day of trades yielded a result that has become all too familiar this season.

Despite Markieff Morris’ 31 points, the Suns fell to 2-10 on the season in games decided by three or fewer points with a 111-109 loss at the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

In all fairness, the Suns (29-26) were shorthanded Friday night. They were without the four men they traded before Thursday’s deadline — Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas, Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis — and their new acquisitions, including point guard Brandon Knight, had yet to join the team.

Nonetheless, the Suns have lost six of their last seven games, including three by a combined five points during that span.

The Suns trailed by 10 points at halftime but took a 73-72 advantage on a dunk by Brandan Wright in the third quarter — their first lead since they had a 9-6 first-quarter advantage.

The Suns and Wolves would trade the lead for most of the fourth quarter, but Minnesota (12-42) used an 8-2 run to take a 106-103 lead with just over a minute to play.

Andrew Wiggins’ contested layup over Markieff Morris gave the Timberwolves a 110-107 lead with less than 17 seconds left, and Eric Bledsoe missed a layup with 12 seconds remaining.

The Timberwolves missed 3-of-4 free-throw attempts in the final seconds, but a last-second 3-point attempt by Gerald Green didn’t beat the buzzer — it was offline, anyway — as the Suns were supplanted by the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.

Kevin Martin led the Timberwolves with 28 points, while Wiggins added 20 and Ricky Rubio had 10 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds.

Here’s a closer look at how the Suns fell on the road, by the numbers:

2

Half of the Suns’ victories in games decided by three or fewer points this season have come against the Timberwolves; they won 113-111 at Minnesota on Jan. 7.

3

Markieff Morris’ 31-point performance was his third 30-point game of the season. He scored a career-high 35 in the Suns’ 107-100 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 13.

4-19

Dating back to last season, the Suns are now 4-19 in games decided by three or fewer points.

6 (part I)

Alex Len, who missed the Suns’ final three games before the All-Star break with an ankle sprain, notched his sixth double-double of the season. The second-year center had 11 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes, and he matched a season high with six blocked shots.

6 (part II)

With Friday’s defeat, the Suns dropped their sixth consecutive road game, and their second straight to a below-.500 team. They fell 85-83 at the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 8.

12

More Archie Goodwin, please. The little-used second-year guard had 12 points, four assists and three rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench Friday. He went 3-of-6 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.

17

Neither team boxed out especially well Friday, as the Suns and Timberwolves each grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. Minnesota out-rebounded Phoenix 51-48 overall for the game.

36

The Suns’ starting guards went just 9-of-25 (36 percent) from the field Friday. Bledsoe went 4-of-11, and Green, who was filling in for the departed Dragic, went 5-of-14. Both men had 12 points and six assists. The Suns collectively shot 44.9 percent from the floor.

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Phoenix Suns fall to Timberwolves in first post-trade deadline game: By the Numbers