January 4, 2020 / 5:06 AM / 18 days ago

Booker (38 points) carries Suns past Knicks

EditorsNote: 7th graf, change 12 lead changes to 10; 8th graf, change 3-point play to three-point play

Jan 3, 2020; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker prior to the game against the New York Knicks at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Booker scored a game-high 38 points — his franchise record-tying fifth straight 30-point game — as the host Phoenix Suns mounted a fourth-quarter comeback and pulled away from the New York Knicks, 120-112.

The Suns, who have won three of four, outscored the Knicks 37-25 in the fourth quarter. New York had its season-high three-game winning streak snapped.

The fifth straight 30-point game by Booker tied a record previously set by Charlie Scott from March 13-21, 1973, and equaled by Charles Barkley from March 21-28, 1993.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 29 points for the Suns and Aron Baynes posted a double-double (20 points, 12 rebounds). Baynes drained the jumper with 5:22 left that produced the game’s 26th lead change and put Phoenix ahead for good.

Deandre Ayton (15 points, 13 rebounds) also had a double-double for the Suns while Ricky Rubio (9 points, 10 assists) missed a double-double by a point.

Marcus Morris Sr. led the Knicks with 25 points while Bobby Portis added 20 off the bench. Julius Randle (13 points, 13 rebounds) registered a double-double while Elfrid Payton scored 15 points and RJ Barrett finished with 10 points.

The Knicks led for almost two full quarters following Mitchell Robinson’s alley-oop with 5:43 left in the first. New York led by as many as 11 in the second quarter and led 61-51 at the half, but the Suns scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, during which the teams combined for five ties and 10 lead changes and Phoenix never led by more than a point.

The Knicks scored the final five points — on a pair of free throws by Ntilikina and a 3-pointer by Portis — to carry an 87-83 lead into the fourth. There were two ties and seven lead changes before Baynes hit his go-ahead basket and followed it up with an old-fashioned three-point play with 4:42 left.

The Knicks got within a possession twice more, but Oubre’s 3-pointer extended the Suns’ lead to 113-107 with 3:36 remaining, and Phoenix stayed ahead by at least four the rest of the way. New York ended the game by missing nine of its final 13 shots.

—Field Level Media

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