Booker has 38 points, Suns beat Thunder to end 2-game losing skid

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  • Oklahoma City Thunder
    Oklahoma City Thunder
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Phoenix Suns
    Phoenix Suns
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  • Devin Booker
    Devin Booker
    American basketball player

PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 38 points, surpassing 10,000 for his career, and the Phoenix Suns beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-97 on Wednesday night to end a two-game losing streak and tie for the NBA lead.

The Suns rebounded from home losses to Golden State and Memphis to pull even with the Warriors atop the league standings at 27-7.

Booker made 12 of 24 shots from the floor, going 6 of 12 from 3-point range.

JaVale McGee and Cameron Payne each scored 16 points, with McGee adding eight rebounds and Payne a team-high seven assists. Cam Johnson finished with 12 points, and Jalen Smith had 11 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

Both teams were without several key players and their head coaches. Suns starters Deandre Ayton and Jae Crowder and coach Monty Williams each missed their second straight game.

The Thunder played without guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right ankle soreness) and fellow starters Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Josh Giddey, who were already on the health and safety protocols list. Coach Mark Daigneault missed his second straight game.

Ty Jerome scored a career-high 24 points for the Thunder, who lost at Sacramento on Tuesday. Aaron Wiggins had 22 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Oklahoma City was 7 of 35 (20 percent) from 3-point range.

Booker, at 25 years, and 60 days, became the seventh-youngest NBA player to score 10,000 points. The others are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Booker also had seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

SHUFFLING THE DECK

Since the Thunder played in Phoenix last Thursday night, they have had five players placed on the health and safety protocols list.

That game was a 113-101 Suns victory.

Also sidelined on the Thunder’s COVID-19 list are forwards Darius Bazley, and Alexsej Pokusevski and guard Tre Mann. Those players scored 69 of the Thunder’s 101 points last week.

Center Isaiah Roby, forward Paul Watson Jr. and Jerome, none of whom played six days ago, start in place of the sidelined trio. Derrick Favors, who was rested last Thursday, played in Wednesday’s game. Watson had 11 points and Roby 10 before he fouled out.

OLD FRIENDS

Wilks, who played briefly for the Thunder before becoming an assistant, grew close to Chris Paul when the Suns’ point guard was with Oklahoma City two seasons ago.

“Chris is a great guy,” Wilks said before the game. “I see how he is with his family, in his community. The time I got to spend with him was invaluable. We check in on one another. He’s one of my favorites and one of the best point guards to ever do it.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Giddey was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games in October/November. He started 20 games and averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 assists and 7.2 rebounds.

Suns: Their 27-7 start is the second best in franchise history through 34 games. The 2004-05 team started 30-4.

NEXT

Thunder: Host New York on Friday night.

Suns: play at Boston on Friday.

Jack Thompson, The Associated Press

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