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Most telling stats from Suns’ Game 1 loss to Timberwolves

© Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix Suns did not do much right in their 120-95 loss in Game 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but there were some positives to take away.

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Take a look at the most telling team stats from the loss that the Suns can improve on or continue to do well.

16 assists to 15 turnovers

  • The Suns cannot win any series by having a stagnant offense. They need ball movement and only 16 assists is not good. Phoenix’s season low for assists was also 16 in the regular season, but way back in the second game of the year on Oct. 26 against the Lakers. The Suns were 21-4 when recording over 30 assists in the regular season. Phoenix averaged 29.3 assists against Minnesota in the regular season to and went 3-0 in these contests.

Minnesota outrebounded Phoenix 52-28 (13-3 on offensive glass)

  • The Suns won’t win any game against the Timberwolves if they lose the rebounding battle this bad, especially allowing 13 offensive rebounds. The Suns were the No. 3 rebounding team in the league since the All-Star break at 45.8 per game, while the Timberwolves were 20th since the break at 43.1. Phoenix has to establish itself inside.

Timberwolves won the second-chance points 20-6

  • To that point, the T-Wolves scored 20 second-chance points compared to only six for the Suns, so as said above, you can’t allow offensive rebounds and extra opportunities, especially in the playoffs.

Suns shot 5-for-18 (27.8%) on wide-open shots, 5-for-19 (26.3%) on catch-and shoots

Timberwolves win points off turnovers 23-19

  • In the last two games of the regular season against Minnesota, the Suns won the points off turnovers 35-15 in their April 14 win and 24-12 in their April 5 win. If Phoenix can get back to numbers like this, it can play how it wants to and get back in rhythm, as when the Suns are flowing in transition it usually translates to other aspects of their game as well.

Timberwolves have 41 bench points compared to Suns’ 18

  • These number speak for themselves. The Suns’ bench shot 7-for-23 (30.4%) compared to 16-for-30 (53.3%) for Minnesota. You know the Suns’ starters can control a lot of the scoring, but they can’t allow eight players to all get going against them, it just opens up everything for the Timberwolves’ offense.

Timberwolves win points in paint 52-34 and 3-pointers 12-9

  • A lot of this is due to the second-chance points and these numbers are reflected by the final score. The Suns don’t usually need points in the paint, it’s more so them converting on more 3s, as reflected by how bad they shot on jumpers. From 3-point range, they shot 9-for-28 (31.1%). Minnesota closed out really well against the Suns, but they need to shoot more 3s.

Timberwolves won fastbreak points 13-10 after 9-0 in first half

  • The Suns can build on how they were able to get out more on the fastbreak in the second half against the Timberwolves. As said above, if the Suns can get going in transition it opens the floodgates for whatever else they can do.

Player Struggles and Successes

One or two telling stats from Suns’ players:

Kevin Durant: 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting, team-high 7 rebounds

  • Kevin Durant was the Kevin Durant everyone knows against Minnesota yesterday. Whether that was the Timberwolves gameplan to let him get his and limit everyone else remains to be seen, but KD looks like he can feast in this series.

Bradley Beal: 15 points (6-10 FG) and team-high 6 assists despite 0 field-goal attempts in the first quarter

  • Once Beal got involved, he showed everyone he can continue his strong play to close out the season. The Suns need to get him involved early and often because we have sseen how much his driving ability can open everything else for the Suns.

Devin Booker: Shot 5-for-16 (31.3%)

  • Simply need Booker to get rolling

Suns still have utmost trust in Devin Booker after poor Game 1 performance

Jusuf Nurkić team-high -1, but only 4 rebounds in 27 minutes

  • Jusuf Nurkić quietly continued what he did to the Timberwolves on the defensive side of the ball, ending with two steals and three blocks, leading to only being a -1 plus/minus. However, only four rebounds is not at all what you want out of your starting center.

Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon: 0-for-7 from 3

  • You simply cannot have what are supposed to be your two best catch-and-shoot players not making any of them in a game. We will see the severity of Allen’s injury tomorrow.

Suns F Grayson Allen avoids injury scare, sprained ankle vs. Timberwolves

Frank Vogel remains confident of Eric Gordon despite Game 1 woes

Royce O’Neale: 14 points (5-10 FG), 4 rebounds off bench

  • Next to Durant and Beal, O’Neale was a huge bright spot for the Suns off the bench. If he can do this consistently, it can make the Suns very dangerous. Phoenix needs at least two of O’Neale, Gordon and Allen to be hitting their shots every game, so there is no drop off between certain players.

Game 2 between these two teams will be on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. MST in Minnesota. The game will be televised on Arizona’s Family and TNT, as Phoenix will look to bounce back from yesterday’s tough loss.

Timberwolves humiliate Suns with 120-95 victory to take Game 1

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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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