The Phoenix Suns completed a sweep of visiting Minnesota teams in the Valley, holding off a late surge from the Wolves to secure a 108-101 victory.
The NFL's Vikings fell victim to the 11-2 Cardinals on Thursday and the NHL's Wild were defeated by the Coyotes. The next team on the hit list from the frozen north were the Timberwolves, led by the dynamic duo of young phenoms Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Although the world of Fargo might have returned to dominate the small screen at present, in the sports world Raising Arizona reigns supreme, as
H.I. Ryan McDonough's Suns took advantage of 24 Wolves turnovers to make it a 2-1 homestand.
Tyson Chandler suited up for the first time in 8 games, and came off the bench for the first time since he was a Charlotte Bobcat during the 2009/10 season. The way Alex Len has been playing, it just might continue that way. Len continued his stellar -- at times even dominating -- play since returning to his starting position after Chandler's hamstring injury, putting up 18 points and 10 boards to leave Suns fans a bit emotional at the development of the young big man.
Phoenix started this early game looking like someone stole all the jelly from their morning donuts, as they went without a field goal until a Brandon Knight cornerball splashed through at the 7:34 mark. Len kept the offense afloat with a career high 8 made freethrows on 8 first-quarter attempts as his teammates searched for their oft-elusive mojo.
Both teams seemed to share the same strategy of launching themselves around the field of play looking for contact, as the alleged basketball players on the court suddenly more resembled bumper cars. 32 fouls were called in total as the teams combined for 41 freethrow attempts (24 for MIN, 17 for PHX).
The Suns were able to gain a 57-49 advantage at the half thanks in part to 12 Timberwolves turnovers and 94% shooting from the freethrow line. Knight drilled four from deep early after going ice cold over the previous two games to give him 12 points overall, and Bledsoe started to heat up in the second quarter before heading to halftime with 10 points.
The Wolves' ball-control woes continued throughout the third quarter, where they contributed 8 more turnovers to add to the Suns' preferred fast pace of play, resulting in some impressive highlights from the Suns.
The Suns led by as much as 21 points in the second half, only for the Wolves to cut the lead all the way to 5 on the heels of some hot shooting from Damjan Rudez and Zach LaVine.
Alas, the Suns were able to push them through the woodchipper and avoid another 4th quarter meltdown. Knight and Bledsoe finished with a combined 48 points, 15 assists and 8 steals, while Zach LaVine poured in 29 points on 19 shots to lead the Wolves.
The Suns hit the road again for a matchup tomorrow night with the Mavericks, who thoroughly embarrassed them back on opening night. Look for the Suns to let them know who wears the pants around here.