Booker scores 21, Suns use balanced scoring and hold off 4th quarter rally to beat Hornets 107-96


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Devin Booker led a balanced Phoenix attack with 21 points and 11 assists as the Suns beat the Charlotte Hornets 107-96 on Friday night for their fourth win in six games.

Grayson Allen and Bradley Beal each scored 15 points, and Jusuf Nurkic chipped in with 13 points and 21 rebounds for the Suns (39-28), who bounced back from a lopsided 127-112 loss to the NBA-best Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

Vasa Micic followed up a career-high 25-point effort on Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies with 21 points to lead Charlotte. Miles Bridges added 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets.

The Suns entered the game in seventh place in the crowded Western Conference standings and battling to avoid having to play their way into the playoffs via the play-in tournament.

Only two games separated fifth-place New Orleans and ninth-place Dallas entering the Friday night’s games.

Phoenix led by 25 points entering the fourth quarter, but the Hornets quickly cut the lead to 10 when Brandon Miller nudged Durant out of the way with his shoulder, sending the 2014 league MVP stumbling backward, and knocked down a 3-pointer with six minutes remaining.

But Durant responded with a pull-up baseline jumper and Nurkic grabbed an offensive rebound and threw down a two-handed dunk to push the lead to 16 points and start sending fans to the exits.

The Suns overcame a 13-0 Hornets run in the first quarter to take a 54-45 lead into the break. Eric Gorden came off the bench to score 11 points and finished with 14, with four 3-pointers.

Booker had 14 points in the third quarter as Phoenix moved out to a large lead heading into the last period.

UP NEXT

Suns: At Milwaukee on Sunday.

Hornets: Open four-game trip at Philadelphia on Saturday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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