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Suns vs Magic Final Score: Phoenix falls apart in the fourth again, losing 113-98

Turnovers haunt the Suns again, as they fall to the Magic in a physical game.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Orlando Magic Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns fall short to the Orlando Magic, 113-98. Struggling to hold onto a slim lead entering the fourth quarter, the Suns also struggled to hold onto the ball with 22 turnovers.

This was the opposite of the last game against the Indiana Pacers Friday night — a finesse track meet — as the Suns had their hands full with a physical Magic team. With Devin Booker fighting for every one of his 44 points, the rest of the Suns team were unable to show up offensively to help him out.

The side-kick for Book was not present in Sunday night's matchup, with Bradley Beal (struggling with his mask for most of the game) scoring nine and Kevin Durant scoring just 15 points.

After winning seven straight, the Suns have now doped their last two games, totaling a combined 30 points in their last two fourth quarters.


Game Flow

First Half

Mask and all, Beal got the Suns out to a hot start, scoring the Suns' first six points of the game. There was a little worry as to how he would play, after breaking his nose in the previous game against the Indiana Pacers. Early on, he looked like Brad. With Booker and Durant struggling from the field in the first quarter. Grayson Allen added seven points in the first with physical play at the rim.

Booker did end the first with 10 points, but it took a little to get going, hitting four of his seven shots.

With Jusuf Nurkic out with a sprained thumb, the minutes were split between Drew Eubanks (starter) and Udoka Azubuike. Both had their hands full with Wendell Carter Jr, but both managed to man the paint well, fighting for boards and picking up the switched man on pick-and-rolls.

After taking an 11-point lead into the second quarter, things started to fall apart for the Suns. With Durant and Beal leading the second unit, turnovers started to snowball, and the defense had a hard time playing together. This led to a 10-2 run by the Magic, cutting the lead to four.

Typically, the Suns of late would calm things down and hold onto the ball, but without Booker on the floor, the Suns continued to turn the ball over. It had the look as if this were the first time these players had held or passed a basketball. The Magic on the other hand were really feeling themselves.

With Booker returning, the turnovers crept up to 11 with four minutes left in the second. Nothing made sense, and this team was not in sync.

Not sure how the Suns managed the lead entering half-time other than they scored more points, but with a 56-51 lead over the Magic, the Suns would take it. Turning the ball over 12 times, and hitting 2-7 threes, the Suns still managed to outrebound the Magic 28-19 and grabbed 12 assists. It was an absolute mess of a game in the first half.

Second Half

The physical play went to another level to start the second half, with Booker searching for calls and grabbing his ankle and hand. Playing through the pain, Booker was hitting shot after shot to keep the Suns ahead by eight points for the majority of the third quarter.

Scoring 62 points last game, Booker was looking for a repeat performance, as the rest of the team was stale and cold from the field. Beal had his attention consumed by the mask that kept falling off his face, making it difficult to have a clean release, and Durant was M.I.A. from midrange and not handling the ball as much.

The defense picked up for the Magic to end the third quarter, keeping this game close. They were able to close the gap, tying the game at 80, putting pressure on the Suns to play mistake-free basketball in the fourth quarter. The Suns turned the ball over 12 times in the first half, but only twice in the third quarter.

It was one man (Booker) vs the Magic up to this point, with Booker scoring 42 entering the fourth quarter.

You could feel the momentum swinging the Magic way, and it was going to be a tough fourth to fight through for the Suns. With no flow to the game, and the whistle halting the progress of any of the team gaining traction in a lead.

The Magic went back to the paint, scoring at will, while catching defenders in the air. Defending the paint, and preventing the extra pass was impossible for the Suns, making the Magic look like the Harlem Globetrotters at times.

In the final six minutes, the Magic held a five-point lead, and dipping into that lead with Beal wide open from three time after time, fell short. The game started to fall away from the Suns and Bookers headband, and Beal’s mask kept falling off. Beal finished the game without his mask due to frustration.

Unable to hit shots, the Suns watched the Magic climb to a 10-point lead, with Jonathan Isaac hitting his first three of the game.

The rest was history with the Suns unable to make any sort of run to end the game, with the Magic winning 113-98.


Up Next

The Suns are right back at it tomorrow night, playing the Miami Heat in South Beach.

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