NBA-leading Suns edge Sixers, short-handed Nets slide further

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Reigning NBA leaders Phoenix Suns picked up a third straight win after Devin Booker and Mikal Bridges combined for 58 points in a 114-109 victory over Philadelphia 76ers.

Booker scored a game-high 35 points and Bridges finished with 23 as the Suns improved to 44-10 with 22 victories on the road in front of a crowd of 20,700 at Wells Fargo Center arena.

“Our goal is what everybody knows it is,” coach Monty Williams said. “But our mission is to do stuff like we did tonight along the way.”

The Suns’ win though was complete after JaVale McGee provided a much-needed spark off the bench.

Chris Paul had 16 points and 12 assists, McGee tallied 15 points and 12 rebounds and Jae Crowder grabbed 14 rebounds for the Suns. Starting center DeAndre Ayton also scored 10 points.

Phoenix had five players in double figures after having six players score 10 or more in a win over Chicago on Monday.

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 34 points and 12 rebounds, making it his 21st consecutive game with at least 25 points. Tobias Harris poured in 30 points and Tyrese Maxey had 14.

Elsewhere, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown each scored 22 points as the Boston Celtics handed the struggling Brooklyn Nets their ninth-straight loss with a 126-91 rout in New York.

Nets struggles continue

Boston charged out of the gate to a 28-2 lead just seven minutes in and led 35-16 heading into the second quarter.

Brown scored eight points in the Celtics’ 14-0 game-opening run.

“I don’t know how often or if we’ve ever been so good to start like that before, but it felt good,” Brown said. “We knew some of those guys were out. We wanted to just take care of business early. We didn’t want to play around and give them confidence and let them linger into the game.”

Jayson Tatum added 19 points as Boston won for the eighth time in nine games. Robert Williams collected 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder chipped in 11.

The Nets fell to 2-10 since Kevin Durant suffered a left knee injury in mid-January. The loss dropped them into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn also played without James Harden (left hamstring), who missed his third straight game and fifth during the skid.

“Frankly, that’s a really good starting five that’s playing really good basketball playing against a reserve lineup, so we’re asking them to match a high, high-quality NBA starting five,” Nets coach Steve Nash said.

Also, Trae Young and John Collins combined for 54 points to help the Atlanta Hawks halt a two-game losing skid with a 133-112 victory over the short-handed Indiana Pacers.

Young poured in 34 points and 11 assists while Collins delivered 20 points, including 13 in the first quarter.


Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (R) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James during an NBA game, Los Angeles, California, U.S., Feb 8, 2022. (Reuters Photo)
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (R) shoots against Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James during an NBA game, Los Angeles, California, U.S., Feb 8, 2022. (Reuters Photo)

In the late game, Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 44 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists as the Milwaukee Bucks rolled over LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers 131-116 in Los Angeles.

Bobby Portis poured in 23 points and Khris Middleton tallied 21 as all five Milwaukee starters finished in double figures.

James paced the Lakers with 27 points while Anthony Davis chipped in 22. Starting guard Russell Westbrook continued his recent struggles, shooting just three-of-11 from the field and finishing with 10 points.

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