Suns Score 37 in Third Quarter, Can't Overcome First Half Deficit

by Cody Cunningham

Suns fans received a little tease prior to their Saturday night matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Devin Booker, who has missed the past few weeks with a left adductor strain, took the court for warm-ups.

Although he did not play in the actual game, this was a great sign in the progress of his recovery. Head Coach Jay Triano said Booker will practice on Sunday and the Suns staff will see from there if he is ready for Tuesday’s game.

As for the rest of the team, it was a rough first half against the Timberwolves going down by as many 22 points and heading into the break down 64-43. The Suns were winners of three of their past four games and many included miraculous comebacks so it was no surprise to see the team come out hot in the third quarter.

Led by TJ Warren’s scoring and Marquese Chriss’ energy and defense, the Suns battled back scoring 37 points in third quarter and bringing the game to within just two points in the final minute.

“Yeah, we just knew we had to come out with a lot more energy, a lot more effort,” Warren said.

Chriss had back-to-back blocks on Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler that helped spark the team to go on a 20-4 run.

“He played great,” Tyson Chandler said about Chriss. “I thought he changed the momentum of the game with his shot blocks, some big-time rebounds, just his energy. I thought everybody started to feed off that and that’s when the game turned.”

The team would continue to battle hard during the fourth quarter, but there just didn’t seem to be enough time on the clock for the team to ever take the lead. The Suns ultimately fell to the Timberwolves 115-106.

Although the team couldn’t overcome the first half deficit, their resilience provides proof to what this team is capable of.

“I think what it says is we can do it,” Triano said. “We have to become more consistent. Let’s learn from how we can do it, the ball moved, the players moved, the cuts were quick, the cuts were hard.”

Warren scored 24 points to go along with his nine rebounds, two steals a block. Isaiah Canaan provided a spark off the bench scoring 15 points and dishing a career-high nine assists.

The Suns will stay at home for the holiday as the team gears-up to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday. Catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.