The Phoenix Suns became the second team to qualify for the semifinals of the NBA Summer League 2013 Championship behind their 103-98 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday afternoon. Phoenix, the third seed in the inaugural tournament, jumped out to an early 6-0 lead just 1:31 into the quarterfinal game, and it 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 the 18th-seeded Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm in the TMC. Earlier in the day, the Heat kept their Cinderella-like run alive in the tourney with their 82-76 win over the seventh-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Suns never trailed in the game, but did see a 16-point cushion cut down to three on two different occasions in the final 10 seconds of regulation.
With 4:26 left on the clock and the scoreboard reading 90-74, Quincy Acy and Dwight Buycks sparked Toronto's offense (3-2) late in the affair. Acy opened up the come-from-behind attempt with six straight points. He had 10 total scores in the run, while Buycks registered eight. Three other Raptors combined to chip in the six remaining tallies.
For the game, 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 Phoenix after Toronto cut the score to three both times. Cohen caught the in-bounds pass after both baskets were scored and was immediately fouled by the Raptors. 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 push out to their 6-0 lead in the first, the Raptors clawed back into the game, albeit briefly, with a 6-1 run that lasted 81 seconds. Unfortunately, that was the closest Toronto would get save for four instances when the two squads were separated by two points in the second stanza.
With the score cut to one at 7-6 in the early stages, Phoenix distanced itself from Toronto 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.
Phoenix maintained a healthy lead between five to 12 points in the third quarter and in double digits for the majority of the fourth prior to Toronto's late outburst.
Marcus Morris paced the Suns offensively with his 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-pointers and four more from the charity stripe.
Archie Goodwin opened up the game for Phoenix with 13 points in the first quarter en route to a 20-point night. Dionte Christmas chipped in 15 for the winning side, as well.