EditorsNote: Some minor tweaks
Devin Booker hit a 3-pointer, stole a pass and buried another trey in a 16.9-second flurry in the final minute Friday night, allowing the Phoenix Suns to overtake the visiting Orlando Magic for a 98-94 victory.
Down the stretch of a contest that featured four lead changes and four ties in the fourth quarter, the game swung in Orlando’s favor when Nikola Vucevic bombed in a pair of 3-pointers in a 7-0 run that turned a three-point deficit into a 94-90 lead with 59.4 seconds to play.
But that’s when Booker took over.
First, he drilled a 26-footer to get the Suns within one with 52.9 seconds left. Then, he stole a Markelle Fultz pass and buried another from behind the arc, giving Phoenix a 96-94 lead with just 36 seconds to go.
Seeking a third straight win, Orlando had two subsequent chances to tie, but Vucevic had the ball stolen by Ricky Rubio, and after the Suns guard made it a three-point game by sinking one of two free throws, Evan Fournier misfired on a 3-pointer with nine seconds to go.
Kelly Oubre Jr.’s 1-for-2 trip to the line with 6.5 seconds left iced the Suns’ second victory in four outings during a five-game homestand.
Booker finished with a team-high 24 points, which ended his franchise-record streak of consecutive 30-point games at seven in a row.
Rubio recorded an 11-point, 10-assist double-double for Phoenix. Oubre chipped in with 22 points and nine rebounds, and Deandre Ayton with 13 points and nine rebounds in a reserve role.
The Suns, who led by as many as 10 points in the first half, outshot the Magic 41.8 percent to 37.1 percent. Each team made nine 3-pointers.
Fournier, who had three of the Magic’s nine treys, was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points for Orlando, which was opening a six-game trip.
Vucevic contributed 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Terrence Ross added 18 points off the bench, and Fultz collected 15 points, six rebounds and a team-high six assists.
—Field Level Media