Booker scores 38 as Suns stay hot, Jazz rally past Knicks

Published February 8, 2022, 3:17 PM

by Agence-France-Presse

Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns (left) drives to the basket against Ayo Dosunmu of the Chicago Bulls during the second half of a game at United Center on February 07, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (AFP)

Devin Booker scored a team-high 38 points as the Phoenix Suns won for the 13th time in the last 14 games with a 127-124 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday.

Booker shot 14-of-23 from the floor and Chris Paul finished with 19 points and 11 assists, while Jae Crowder had 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six assists for the NBA-best Suns.

“We play together as a team and get it done every night,” said Booker. “We have been through it. We had a deep playoff run last year and we keep getting better.”

Booker has now scored 30 plus points in five of the last eight games for Phoenix, who led by as many as 27 points in front of a crowd of 20,600 at the United Center arena.

“Just playing within the offense,” Booker said. “I understand that’s how our team is built, there are gonna be opportunities to score at all times. I’ve been in this system for a minute now. There’s no reason to force anything. We have too many talented players out there.”

Phoenix shot 54.4 percent compared with 47.8 shooting by Chicago, who lost for the second time in as many days while permitting 115-plus points for the seventh straight game.

JaVale McGee (16 points), Mikal Bridges (15) and Deandre Ayton (13) also scored in double figures for the Suns.

DeMar DeRozan paced the Bulls attack with 38 points, while Zach LaVine returned from a back injury to tally 32 points for the Eastern Conference’s third-ranked team, who have lost three of their last four.

DeRozan converted a three-point play to cut the Suns’ advantage to nine points with just under six minutes remaining. But the Suns answered with five points in the next 40 seconds to regain control as the Bulls’ made a late run but fell short.

“The most important thing down the stretch was getting stops on defense,” said Booker.

Phoenix has now won four straight games over the Bulls, including two wins last season.

Elsewhere, Klay Thompson scored 21 points for the Golden State Warriors, who won their ninth consecutive game by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-98.

Warriors on a roll

Stephen Curry added 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who shot 50 percent from the field.

Lu Dort scored 26 points and Darius Bazley equaled a season high with 20 for Oklahoma City. Josh Giddey added 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.

Thompson nailed two three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to thwart a Thunder rally and give Golden State a commanding nine-point lead.

Also, Pascal Siakam and Gary Trent each scored 24 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Charlotte Hornets 116-101.

“I am just trying to calm everybody down when it gets crazy out there. Kudos to the team for staying with it,” Siakam said.

In Salt Lake City, Donovan Mitchell scored 32 points and the Utah Jazz erased a large second-half deficit to defeat the New York Knicks 113-104.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points, Mike Conley added 18 points and seven assists and Jordan Clarkson returned from missing two games due to a knee injury to score 16 points for the Jazz.

 
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