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Some good, some bad in Suns loss to Memphis in Summer League, 102-98

The Summer Suns got big games from Dragan Bender and Mike James, but could not close out the game.

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Marquese Chriss went down with a sprained ankle (hopefully that’s all it is), Dragan Bender (20/7/5) and Mike James (32/5/5/2) had stellar games (until the final possession) and the Suns lost in Summer League to end their chances at an SL Championship.

In a 102-98 loss, the Phoenix Suns continue to see that their rookies are pretty good, Dragan Bender is improving, and Marquese Chriss is still trying to figure out how to lug around 250 pounds.


With all due respect to Mike James, we need to recognize Dragan Bender’s second straight really really good game.

Bender had 18 second half points (20 total), 7 rebounds and 5 assists in a very good all-around performance that showed off his passing and driving abilities more than he’s ever been able to show before. If he’d have just made more than 1 of 7 threes...

Remember, he’s still only going to be 19 years old, younger than rookies Jackson and Reed, on opening night in October.

Watch it all unfold here!

Now watch Mike James with his 32 points!

Josh Jackson and Davon Reed once again showed their defensive abilities, but in this game they were forced to play front court in the small ball lineup (without Chriss) while Mike James and Shaq Harrison got roasted on the perimeter by Memphis’ Wayne Selden (33 points) and Wade Baldwin IV (21 points). Aside: Selden and Harrison SHOULD get roasted by those guys, so it’s not an insult. It’s just the state of the Suns roster at this point in Summer League.

The Suns put up a good fight. Mike James hit hero shots (please flush that final play from your mind) to get the Suns into position to tie or take the lead on a short handed roster.

Josh Jackson is FUN to watch. So is Davon Reed. Dragan Bender is improving every single game. I loved what he did in this game in particular driving to the hoop and dishing the ball.

And we get ONE MORE GAME.

The Summer Suns play Dallas again tomorrow, though it won’t be on TV. Good thing we have streaming!

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