By the Associated Press
PHOENIX — Devin Booker scored 24 points, including late back-to-back 3-pointers, and Ricky Rubio came up with a steal and a free throw to help the Phoenix Suns rally past the Orlando Magic 98-94 on Friday night.
Booker had scored only two points in the second half before hitting a 3-pointer with 52.9 seconds left that cut Orlando’s lead to 94-93. He then hit another 3-pointer with 36 seconds left. On defense, Rubio stole the ball from Nikola Vucevic with 16.7 seconds remaining.
The Suns scored the final eight points of the game after Vucevic knocked down a 3 from the top of the arc with 59.4 seconds left, giving the Magic a 94-90 lead, Orlando’s largest of the game.
Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 22 points and Rubio added 11 points, 10 assists and three steals, giving him 1,001 for his career.
Evan Fournier led Orlando with 28 points, 16 in the second half. Vucevic added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Terrence Ross scored 18 off the bench.
Phoenix led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter, but the Magic roared back, taking their first lead of the game at 69-68 on a 3-pointer and two free throws by Fournier.
The Suns took a 77-75 lead when Deandre Ayton hit a short hook shot just before the buzzer at the end of the third.
But Orlando scored the first six points of the fourth on 3s by Fournier and Josh Magette, It was Magette’s only basket of the game.
The game was mostly back-and-forth, with the exception of a few double-digit leads for the Suns.
Off a blocked shot from Cam Johnson at the defensive end, Mikal Bridges took the ball coast to coast for a layup and a 27-25 lead the Suns carried into the second quarter.
Ross bowled over Aron Baynes and put in a wild shot off the glass to cut the Suns’ lead to 40-38 at the 5:46 mark of the second. Markelle Fultz had 13 points and Ross 12 in the first half.
Booker forced Fournier to lose his balance on defense, then swished a step-back 3 that gave Phoenix its largest lead of the first half, 10 points at 58-48, with 33 seconds to go.
The Suns took that lead into halftime. Booker scored 16 first-half points and Oubre 13.