PHOENIX (AP)Deandre Ayton scored 24 points, Chris Paul added 15 points and 11 assists, and the Phoenix Suns tied a franchise record of 17 straight wins by beating the Golden State Warriors 104-96 on Tuesday night in an early showdown between the NBA’s top teams.
The Suns won despite losing star guard Devin Booker to a left hamstring injury in the second quarter. He had 10 points and two rebounds in 15 minutes.
Even without Booker, the Suns led 56-54 at halftime and 80-78 going into the fourth quarter. The game stayed tight, and neither team led by double digits until Landry Shamet knocked down a 3-pointer – on an assist by Paul – with 54.4 seconds left.
The game mostly lived up to the hype – at least until the Warriors, who had their seven-game winning streak snapped, went cold in the fourth quarter.
Jordan Poole led Golden State with 28 points. Stephen Curry – who came into the game averaging 28.6 points per game – had 12 points on 4-for-21 shooting, including 3 of 14 from 3-point range.
The Suns and Warriors are now both 18-3. The only other time Phoenix has won 17 straight games was during the 2006-07 season. They’ll go for their franchise record 18th win against the Pistons on Thursday.
NETS 112, KNICKS 110
NEW YORK (AP) – James Harden and Kevin Durant led the way until James Johnson made two free throws with 2.2 seconds left to give Brooklyn a win over New York.
Harden had 34 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Durant heated up after a slow start to finish with 27 points and nine assists. He had 11 points in the final 5:45, but the Knicks sent a second defender to force him to give the ball up on the last possession.
The ball went to Johnson, who was fouled in the lane and made the free throws for the final points.
Alec Burks scored a season-high 25 points in his new role as the Knicks’ starting point guard. Julius Randle added 24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
GRIZZLIES 98, RAPTORS 91
TORONTO (AP) – Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 25 points, Desmond Bane had 23 and Dillon Brooks 17 as Memphis won back-to-back games, beating struggling Toronto.
Memphis won again without leading scorer Ja Morant, who sat for the second game because of a sprained left knee. Morant is expected to miss at least two weeks. Memphis was coming off a win over Sacramento on Sunday.
Bane made five 3-pointers and Jackson had four for the Grizzlies, who never trailed and led by as many as 17 points.
Pascal Siakam scored 20 points, Scottie Barnes had 19 and Fred VanVleet 15 as the Raptors lost their third straight. Toronto has lost five straight home games.
LAKERS 117, KINGS 92
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Anthony Davis scored 25 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and Los Angeles overcame the absence of LeBron James to beat Sacramento.
The Lakers sent James home earlier in the day after he was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocol.
But they got more than enough from their other two big stars and took over with a dominant third quarter to win back-to-back games for the first time since Nov. 8-10.
Sacramento missed 17 of 18 shots from the field during a stretch that lasted into the fourth quarter. The Kings fell to 2-3 under interim coach Alvin Gentry.
Richaun Holmes scored 27 points on 12-for-13 shooting in his first game back after missing three with an illness. De’Aaron Fox added 17.
TRAIL BLAZERS 110, PISTONS 92
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – CJ McCollum scored 28 points and Portland handed Detroit its seventh straight loss.
Ben McLemore, who had played in just six previous games for the Blazers this season, had 17 points off the bench. Portland, with Damian Lillard looking on from the bench in street clothes, snapped a three-game losing streak.
Portland has won 10 straight at home for the first time since 2009.
Detroit rookie Cade Cunningham finished with a season-high 26 points, including five 3-pointers. The Pistons have won just four games this season and fell to 2-9 on the road.
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