Bender Scores Career-High in Thrilling Win Over Wolves

by Cody Cunningham

The Suns went down early against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, but the resilience and fight from their bench helped them battle back against one of the best teams in the West.

The first three quarters were a back-and-forth battle. They trailed by double-digits in all three of the first quarters, but managed to cut those deficits to single-digits before each frame ended.

The Suns bench unit seemed to be the main factor for the team as they were led by Isaiah Canaan playing for the first time in a Suns uniform.

Dragan Bender hit a three with under nine minutes remaining to bring the Suns within just one. That would be followed up by Len grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back up to give the Suns their first lead of the game.

Bender then hit another three for his fifth of the game to extend the Suns lead to 95-93. The second-year power forward scored a career-high 17 points.

Troy Daniels joined Bender from deep knocking down four of his own. The duo off the bench shot a combined 64 percent from the arc (9-of-14).

The lead alternated between the two teams for the final few minutes, but with 30 seconds left it was Suns ball down by one.

Canaan already had an extremely impressive game with 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds, but his shining moment occurred with just six seconds left.

With the shot clock winding down, Canaan got Jeff Teague to jump just as he pulled up for the three. Whistles blew.

Although a foul was called, it was ruled a shot clock violation, Timberwolves ball.

Well, that was until the play was reviewed and showed Canaan get fouled before the shot clock went off.

The guard stepped to the line already five-of-five for the game. After he was done, he was eight-for-eight and the Suns held a two-point lead. In his first appearance as a Sun, Canaan had 15 points off the bench.

The Timberwolves inbounded the ball with six seconds to go, but as Jimmy Butler drove to the basket he was met by Alex Len who rejected his shot and secured the victory for the Suns.

Alex Len with Game-Saving Block Against Jimmy Butler

Even without Devin Booker, the Suns became the first Western Conference team to defeat the Timberwolves in Minnesota with a 108-106 win.

Len dominated in the paint for the Suns with 12 points to go along with six assists, two steals, a block and a career-high 19 rebounds. It was his team-leading fifth double-double of the season.

The Suns continue their road trip as they head to Dallas to face the Mavericks on Monday. Catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.