George scores 39 points, Clippers hold off Suns 112-107
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)PHOENIX – Paul George scored 39 points and the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Phoenix Suns 112-107 on Sunday night after nearly blowing a 31-point lead in a matchup of two of the Western Conference's top early season teams. At 5-2, the Clippers are tied with the Suns and Los Angeles Lakers for the West lead. George was 7 of 10 from 3-point range and Los Angeles was 17 of 29 overall. Chris Paul, who played six seasons for the Clippers, had 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Los Angeles opened the second quarter with 15 straight points to make it 50-24.
Booker, Bridges lead new-look Suns past Mavericks 106-102
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) drives on Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020, in Phoenix. At least for the first game, the Suns' revamped backcourt performed almost exactly as hoped. Booker scored 22 points, Mikal Bridges added 18 and Phoenix edged the Dallas Mavericks 106-102 on Wednesday in the season opener for both teams. “I like guys who are willing to take the shots,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. Luka Doncic cut the Suns' lead to three with a dunk but after a Booker miss, Bridges grabbed the offensive rebound and Phoenix closed out the victory.
Suns top Mavs to keep playoff hopes alive, go 8-0 in bubble
Dario Saric scored 16 points and Cameron Payne and Cameron Johnson each added 15 for the Suns. Dallas was already locked into a playoff matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers, so the starters played limited minutes. Luka Doncic, who had averaged 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11.3 assists in the bubble, finished with 18 points in just over 13 minutes. Booker scored 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting before the break. Suns: Either season over or will be in a play-in game against Memphis on Saturday.
Booker's 35 points help streaking Suns beat 76ers 130-117
Booker became the Suns' career leader with his 91st 30-point game, breaking a tie with Walter Davis. Phoenix pulled away late after leading only 105-102 following back-to-back baskets by Alec Burks, who led the 76ers with 23 points. The Suns continued their high-scoring play in the bubble after averaging 120 points in the first six games. The 76ers also were without Joel Embiid (left ankle), Tobias Harris (sore right ankle) and Al Horford (sore left knee). 76ers: Play the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
Booker's 35 points lead surprising Suns past Heat 119-112
Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro each had 25 points to lead the Heat. Three free throws by Robinson cut the Suns' lead to 115-112 before Miami's Bam Adebayo was called for goaltending on a shot by Booker. The review with 11.2 seconds remaining confirmed the call and extended the lead to five points. Led by its backcourt scoring from Herro and Robinson, Miami quickly led by double figures at 19-8. The Suns led 88-86 entering the final period.
Booker's shot at buzzer leads Suns over Clippers 117-115
The Suns improved to 3-0 in the bubble as they chase a playoff spot. Ricky Rubio missed a shot after that and Ivica Zubac got the rebound, but he threw a bad pass that Mikal Bridges stole to give the Suns another chance. He turned the other direction and shot as George was closing, then crashed to the court as his teammates surrounded him to celebrate the victory. After setting a franchise record by making 25 3-pointers in a win over New Orleans on Saturday, the Clippers managed just eight in the loss. Leonard led the Clippers with 27 points and George added 23.