Green, VanVleet lead Rockets past Suns, 118-109. Phoenix star Booker injures ankle

PHOENIX (AP) — Jalen Green scored 34 points, Fred VanVleet added 24 and the Houston Rockets beat the Phoenix Suns 118-109 on Saturday night to split a two-game series.

Phoenix star Devin Booker left late in the game after inuring his right ankle when he stepped on teammate Royce O'Neale's foot, while fellow Suns guard Bradley Beal was ejected in his return to the lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury.

Beal missed more time after his ejection in the third quarter. He and Green got in a brief scuffle before they were separated. Beal was assessed two quick technicals and ejected while Green also got a technical.

Kevin Durant led the Suns with 30 points. Booker had 24 and O’Neale 20. Beal finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Green shot 12 of 23 from the field, including 6 of 12 on 3-pointers. Alperen Sengun added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Rockets led for most of the game, but the Suns cut it to 99-98 midway through the fourth quarter on Josh Okogie's layup. VanVleet responded with a 3-pointer to turn back the rally.

The Suns beat the Rockets 110-105 on Thursday and that game featured some chippiness, too, with Booker and Houston's Cam Whitmore getting into a minor altercation that ended with technical fouls for both players.

The Rockets jumped out to a 38-19 lead after one quarter and led 54-44 at halftime. Green scored 17 points in the first half while VanVleet and Sengun — who was ejected Thursday after arguing with officials — added 13 before the break.

The Suns had 11 turnovers in the first half and shot just 38.6% from the field.


Rockets: Host San Antonio on Tuesday night.

Suns: Host Oklahoma City on Sunday night.



The Associated Press