Suns tank another quarter to go down 0-3 vs. Timberwolves

Apr 26, 2024, 10:28 PM

Wolves guard Nickeil Walker-Alexander after a made 3 in Game 3 against the Suns...

Timberwolves guard Nickeil Walker-Alexander after a made 3 in Game 3 against the Suns (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

The Phoenix Suns had only won two quarters of basketball through Games 1 and 2 against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But each of those games featured a second-half quarter that fell off the rails for Phoenix in an unsightly way.

What’s that they say about two times is a coincidence and three is a trend?

The trend was made in Game 3 at Footprint Center on Friday with a 36-20 third quarter to the T-Wolves’ advantage. Phoenix came out of halftime trailing 59-53, but the 16-point differential by the end of the third was the worst of any quarter in the series thus far.

The 126-109 loss drops Phoenix to 0-3 with an elimination Game 4 set for Sunday.

NBA playoff teams that have lost the first three games have never recovered to win in 152 series. Only four have forced a Game 7.

Timberwolves backup guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker missed all four of his shot attempts in the first half but bombed away from deep, hitting four threes as Minnesota went 7-of-11 from beyond the arc in the third quarter.

The T-Wolves as a team shot 62% while picking apart a Suns defense that came out in the first half looking at least aggressive.

Minnesota found the holes in that aggressiveness to free up its shooters, and on the other end, Phoenix shot 40% as any offensive rhythm got engulfed by the T-Wolves’ on-ball defense.

Bradley Beal led the Suns with 28 points, and Devin Booker scored 23 points to go with eight assists. Kevin Durant added 25.

Eric Gordon scored 11 off the bench but was quieted after a 10-point first quarter.

Minnesota got six players in double-figures before the third quarter ended.

Anthony Edwards led the team with 36 points, while Rudy Gobert added 19 and Karl-Anthony Towns contributed 18.

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