Devin Booker scored 30 points and the Phoenix Suns led wire-to-wire to easily beat the Brooklyn Nets 113-107 and extend their NBA winning streak to 16 games on Saturday.
The Suns now have the second-longest winning streak in franchise history as they survived a late comeback by Brooklyn. They are trying to equal the 2006-07 team, which holds the record of 17 straight wins.
Booker did most of his damage in the first and third quarters, shooting nine of 18 from the floor overall and nailing four three-pointers in 32 minutes of playing time.
Chris Paul finished with 22 points, eight assists and five rebounds and recorded his 5,000th career rebound in the second quarter in front of the crowd of 18,070 at Barclays Center.
“Obviously, everybody knows the ultimate goal is to win a championship,” Paul said. “But if you don’t enjoy the small victories throughout the regular season, then what the hell are you doing?”
Phoenix, who are 17-3 on the season, will try to set the franchise win streak record when they face the red-hot Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.
“I’m looking forward to it, man,” Booker said. “Obviously not a make it or break-it game, not a playoff game, but we know it’s going to be high-energy, two best records in the NBA. It’s going to a high-intensity, fun game.”
Mikal Bridges added 13 while Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee contributed 10 apiece in the win.
Kevin Durant scored a game-high 39 points for the Nets, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
James Harden shot just four of 15 from the floor but still managed to finish with a triple-double of 12 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds.
Elsewhere, Taurean Prince made a clutch layup with four seconds remaining in double overtime to lift the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 121-120 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
D’Angelo Russell led the Timberwolves with 35 points as they had to overcome a 42-point and 14-rebound performance by Joel Embiid, who returned after missing three weeks because of Covid-19.
Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 28 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out and Anthony Edwards scored 19 and Naz Reid chipped in 13 in the win.
The 27-year-old Embiid had a chance to win it but had his shot blocked as time expired in the second overtime.
Minnesota won their sixth-straight game as they were aggressive at both ends of the court. They reached the .500 mark this week for the first time since the opening stretch of the season.
They began the season by winning three of their first four games before a six-game losing streak. The winning streak includes five victories by a double-digit margin.
Tobias Harris added 17 points, Tyrese Maxey had 15 and Seth Curry 14 for the Sixers.
Centre Embiid was back in the lineup after missing nine games. He tested positive for COVID-19 on November 8. Embiid was averaging 21.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in nine games before his positive test.
The Sixers struggled in his absence by losing seven of the nine games.
Embiid was runner-up for MVP honours last season when he averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds in 51 games. Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic won the award.
Also, Alec Burks scored a team-high 23 points as the New York Knicks used a third-quarter run to beat the Atlanta Hawks 99-90.