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Jordan Goodwin Proves Vital in the Fourth Quarter for the Suns

© Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns entered last night’s matchup against the Washington Wizards dead last in the NBA in fourth quarter net rating.

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Following a fourth quarter in which they were outscored 42-23 in a loss against the Knicks Friday, things weren’t looking too bright heading into the final period last night against the Wizards. Washington led 89-81 after the third after leading by as much as 16 early in the game.

Phoenix instead proved everybody wrong with an ultra-impressive showing in the fourth quarter. The Suns outscored the Wizards 31-19 in the quarter and held Washington to 0-of-10 shooting from three. In the end, they walked away with a 112-108 victory.

Their comeback in the fourth was pretty much a full-team effort, and an example of what the team can do when they play cohesively.

The glue behind it all for most of the quarter? Jordan Goodwin.

Jordan Goodwin

Goodwin was traded to Phoenix from Washington in the Bradley Beal trade back in June. This was the 25-year-old’s first time playing against his former team after they signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Saint Louis in 2021.

Goodwin played eight minutes in the quarter and finished as a +13 in those minutes. He had four points, five rebounds (three of which were offensive) and two assists in the final period alone. For the game, he had eight points, eight rebounds, six assists and was a team-high +17 in 20 minutes played.

“He came in, he changed the game in more ways than one,” Suns’ guard Devin Booker said of Goodwin. “I think we were down nine or 10 to start the fourth quarter, and we’re able to erase that quick, and he was a big part of that.”

There have been several instances this season where Goodwin provides a huge spark for the Suns in the fourth. Back on Nov. 24 in a win over the Grizzlies, Goodwin scored 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting and had three rebounds in the fourth quarter alone. The very next game against the Knicks, he had five points and five rebounds in the fourth quarter in a 116-113 victory. 

His hard-nosed intensity was on display once again last night to help close out the game.

“We want him to star in his role,” Suns’ coach Frank Vogel said of Goodwin. “And that’s to be a low turnover guy, a setup guy offensively. (He) had six assists, two turnovers (tonight), I think six (assists) and one (turnover) last game. And to be a guard crasher, he’s doing a good job of keeping possessions alive, getting us extra possessions, extra shots.  He had a great performance from that standpoint tonight.”

Everybody expects Booker and Kevin Durant to close out the games for the Suns, and they did so last night. However, it was the effort of Goodwin on both sides of the ball, whether it was helping the Wizards go 0-for-10 for three or crashing the offensive glass, that served as a perfect example of how to aid Booker and Durant in being the closers for the Suns.

The team will need effort like this even more so now with Bradley Beal being ruled out until at least Jan. 1.

The Suns are struggling for answers in a lot of areas lately, but if Goodwin or anyone else can consistently step up and help them overcome their fourth quarter problems, that could improve them drastically.

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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