Evan Fournier hits winner, Magic beat Suns 112-111

·3 min read

ORLANDO, Fla. — Evan Fournier scored the last of his 21 points on a driving layup over Phoenix centre Deandre Ayton with 6.4 seconds left and the Orlando Magic beat the Suns 112-111 on Wednesday night.

Suns star Devin Booker made two free throws with 19.4 seconds left to give Phoenix a one-point lead, but missed a reverse layup attempt just before the horn. The loss ended Phoenix's road winning streak at seven, its longest since 2006-07. Phoenix is 14-6 on the road, tied for the second-most road victories in the NBA.

Nikola Vucevic had 27 points and 14 rebounds for Orlando, and rookie Chuma Okeke made all six of his shots en route to a career-best 17 points.

Orlando trailed by 13 in the early going and by five in the fourth period before rallying behind Vucevic’s 32nd 20-point performance of the season. Vucevic’s fadeaway jumper put Orlando up 107-102 with 2:58 to play and his free throw with 27.4 seconds remaining broke a tie at 109.

Chris Paul scored eight of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Suns. Booker finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Joe Crowder had 17 points and four 3-pointers — the final one tying the game at 109 with 38.1 seconds to play. Ayton had 21 points and nine rebounds.

There were five lead changes and five ties in the fourth period alone.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, the subject of several recent trade rumours , scored 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

TRADE TALK

While discussing his frustration over the Magic suffering through another losing season, Gordon seemed to realize that Wednesday’s game could be his final one in an Orlando uniform. Gordon, a seven-year member of the Magic, reportedly requested a trade in recent weeks and he could be dealt elsewhere before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

Despite the rampant rumours centred around the forward and approximately a half-dozen teams, Gordon promised to keep his focus on the present.

“As of right now, I’m an Orlando Magic,” Gordon said. “I’ve been here seven years and developed a home here and a sense of love and community. As long as I have Orlando on my chest, the Magic on my chest, I’m going to give it everything I have.”

TIP INS

Suns: The Suns won eight straight games outside of Phoenix last August in Orlando in the NBA’s bubble environment at Disney World. “I’m sure, for our young guys, it was a confidence boost with the kinds of teams we were able to beat on that stage in ‘need-wins’ situations," coach Monty Williams said. "I’m sure it built a ton of confidence for everybody.” … Wednesday was the four-year anniversary of Booker’s franchise-record 70-point game against Boston in 2017 and the 31-year anniversary of Tom Chambers scoring 60 points for the Suns in 1990.

Magic: Coach Steve Clifford thought Terrence Ross (sore right knee) might return, but he was out again. Orlando came into Wednesday 1-7 without Ross this season. … Cole Anthony, who has been out since Feb. 11 with a rib fracture, has resumed on-court basketball drills, but he has yet to be cleared for contact. … Down as much as 13 in the early going, the Magic took its first lead at 47-46 on a Vucevic 3-pointer.

UP NEXT

Suns: Vs. Toronto in Tampa on Friday night.

Magic: Host Portland on Friday night.

John Denton, The Associated Press