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Fred VanVleet, Jabari Smith Jr. help Rockets hold off Suns, 114-110

HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 23 points, Jabari Smith Jr. had 22 points and 16 rebounds and the Houston Rockets withstood Phoenix's late surge to beat the Suns 114-110 on Friday night.

Kevin Durant had 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Phoenix, comning off a loss in Dallas the night before. Fellow All-Star Devin Booker added 25 points and Bol Bol had season highs of 25 points and 14 rebounds.

Phoenix was without starters Bradley Beal, who missed a third straight game with tightness in his left hamstring, and Jusuf Nurkic, who has a sprained right ankle.

Houston led by double-digits to start the fourth, but the Suns took the lead with about five minutes to go.

The Rockets regained the lead soon after that and rookie Amen Thompson made 1 of 2 free throws for Houston to make it 110-108 with 17 seconds to go, but the Suns knocked the ball out of bounds fighting for the rebound on the miss. Smith made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 111-108 with nine seconds remaining.

Booker made two free throws to get the Suns within one again with seven seconds left. This time, Smith made both free throws to leave Houston up 113-110.

Smith then intentionally fouled Durant and his first shot rolled in and out of the basket before the Suns were called for a lane violation on the second attempt.

VanVleet missed a free throw with four second left, but Houston got the rebound. Alperen Sengun made 1 of 2 free throws to make it 114-110 and seal the victory.

Phoenix trailed by 13 to start the fourth and was down by 10 before going on a 12-2 run to tie it at 96. Bol, who had made just four 3-pointers all season, made two in that stretch to help the Suns close the gap.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press