Devin Booker scored 27 of his 35 points in the second half and finished one assist short of his first career triple-double, as the Phoenix Suns broke a season-long three-game losing streak with a 100-98 victory over the host Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday afternoon.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had 25 points, 11 rebounds and three 3-pointers, and Frank Kaminsky had nine points on three 3-pointers while making his third straight start. The Suns won for the first time without injured starters Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points and 17 rebounds, Keita Bates-Diop had career highs with 22 points and three 3-pointers and Andrew Wiggins had 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost four straight home games and five of their last six at home.
Booker added 12 rebounds and nine assists, as close as he has been to his first triple-double in his five-year career. He had 37 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in a 115-111 victory at Golden State on March 10, 2019.
Booker scored six points in the final two minutes as the Suns’ 12-point fourth-quarter lead dwindled to two points on three occasions.
Jeff Teague hit a layup with 2:51 remaining to bring the Timberwolves within two at 94-92, the closest they had been since midway through the third. Booker then made a short jumper, after Oubre poked the ball away from Towns, for 96-92 edge.
Wiggins made a layup with 1:18 remaining before Booker hit two free throws for a 98-94 lead with 58.4 seconds left. Teague made the first of two free throws, and neither team score again until Booker hit two free throws with 5.0 seconds remaining after rebounding a Towns miss gave the Suns a 100-95 lead.
Towns hit a three with one second remaining, but the Suns got the ball in unchallenged.
The Timberwolves trailed 9-2 early before a 14-0 run, but that lead would last only a few minutes and proved to be their only advantage of the game. The Suns went up 30-23 after one quarter and 52-45 at the break, leading by as many as 11.
Neither team was at full strength. Baynes (hip) missed his third straight game, and Rubio (back spasms) missed his third game in the last four. Minnesota forward Matt Layman (toe) was out, and Robert Carrington missed the game for personal reasons.
—Field Level Media