The Phoenix Suns became the second team to qualify for the NBA Summer League semifinals on Saturday with a 103-98 win over the Toronto Raptors.
The Suns, the third seed in the inaugural tournament, jumped out to an early 6-0 lead just 1:31 into the quarterfinal game and never looked back in the contest played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
With the win, Phoenix improved to 5-0 in the summer series and will face 18th-seeded Miami on Sunday at 3 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Heat kept their Cinderella-like run alive in the tourney with an 82-76 win over the seventh-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.
Marcus Morris paced the Suns offensively with 23 points and six
rebounds, while his brother Markieff had 16 points and five boards. The
twins had identical 8-for-11 efforts from the field, while Marcus added
nine points from 3-point range and four more from the charity stripe.
Goodwin led the early charge Phoenix with 13 points in the first
quarter en route to a 20-point night. Dionte Christmas chipped in 15 for
the winning side.
The Suns never trailed in the game but did see a 16-point cushion cut to three on two different occasions in the final 10 seconds of regulation.
With 4:26 left on the clock Phoenix leading 90-74, Quincy Acy and Dwight Buycks led a run that got Toronto (3-2) back into it. Acy started the rally with six straight points and had 10 total points in the run, while Buycks registered eight. Three other Raptors combined to chip in the six remaining points.
Acy and Buycks led all scorers with 28 points apiece in a losing effort. Acy wound up with a double-double by adding 10 rebounds to his stat line.
Despite playing only 57 seconds in the game, Jake Cohen was a major contributor for the Suns after the Raptors cut the margin to three twice. Cohen caught the in-bounds pass after both baskets were scored and was immediately fouled. He then calmly stepped to the free throw line and sank all four free throws to put his team ahead by five twice.
After seeing the Suns jump out to a 6-0 lead in the first, the Raptors clawed back into the game, albeit briefly, with a 6-1 run that lasted 81 seconds. But that was the closest Toronto would get save for four instances when the two squads were separated by two points in the second half.
With the score cut to one at 7-6 in the early stages, Phoenix distanced itself with nine straight points over a span of 2:17 to extend its advantage to double digits at 16-6. The lead grew to 13 twice before the opening 10 minutes expired.
The Suns maintained a healthy lead of between five and 12 points in the third quarter, and they led by double digits for the majority of the fourth prior to the Raptors’ late run.