Booker’s season-high 41 points power Suns past Knicks
PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored a season-high 41 points and the surging Phoenix Suns rolled to their fourth victory in five games with a 107-96 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Booker made 14 of 23 shots, including six of 10 3-pointers, and the Suns (15-51) took over after a slow start in a matchup of the teams with the NBA’s worst records.
Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 points and Tyler Johnson 14 for the Suns, who have won three straight. DeAndre Jordan led the Knicks with 17 points, and Noah Vonleh, Damyean Dotson and Dennis Smith Jr. added 15 each.
Jordan was back in the starting lineup for his first game since Feb. 22. The veteran center missed the past five contests with a sprained left ankle, and also finished with 14 rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
The Suns made just six of 20 first-quarter shots and missed all seven 3s. But back-to-back dunks by Richaun Holmes trimmed the Knicks’ lead to three at 23-20.
New York went ahead 35-24 on Allonzo Trier’s jumper at the 6:47 mark.
The Suns responded with an 18-4 run to take their first lead, with Booker’s steal and dunk giving them a 40-39 advantage with 4:14 to go in the second quarter. Booker scored 23 points in the first half, 16 in the quarter.
The Suns took a 49-47 lead into halftime, and extended their lead in the third quarter. A 3 from Oubre made it 69-58, and Oubre’s layup and free throw gave the Suns a 76-62 lead.
Holmes, given more minutes with starting center Deandre Ayton in foul trouble, rolled to the basket and threw down a pass from Troy Daniels for a 78-62 advantage with 53.4 seconds left in the third quarter. Holmes had four dunks on the night.
The Suns took an 81-64 lead into the fourth quarter, and were never threatened by the Knicks over the final 12 minutes.
KNICKS: Coach David Fizdale’s pregame comments, on his team playing the Suns: “Two desperados, fighting for crumbs on the table. That’s really what it is.” ... A made basket by Dotson was taken off the scoreboard with 7:01 left in the first quarter, reviewed almost three minutes after the shot and ruled to be a shot clock violation. ... C Mitchell Robinson blocked three shots, two in the third quarter.
SUNS: F T.J. Warren missed his 17th straight game with ankle soreness. ... The Suns evened the all-time series between the two teams at 64 wins each. ... With a steal in the first quarter in which he wrestled the ball from Vonleh, G Mikal Bridges has a steal in 20 straight games, the longest active streak in the NBA.
Knicks: Return home to host Sacramento on Saturday.
Suns: At Portland on Saturday night, the first of a back-to-back set that will also take them to Golden State.
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