PHOENIX — Mikal Bridges scored 19 points, Devin Booker had 18 points and 11 assists and the Phoenix Suns held on to beat the Boston Celtics 100-91 on Sunday.
Phoenix improved to 13-9 this season and has won five of its past six games. Cam Johnson added 17 points off the bench while Deandre Ayton had 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Phoenix built a 17-point lead midway through the third quarter, but Boston rallied to cut the deficit to 76-68 entering the fourth. Backup guard Payton Pritchard gave the Celtics a lift with two 3-pointers during the run.
Boston stayed fairly close for most of the game despite a rough shooting performance. Kemba Walker shot just 4 of 20 from the field but hit a 3-pointer with about 2:30 left that pulled the Celtics to within 91-86.
Pritchard added a long 3-pointer with about a minute left that brought Boston to within 94-91, but Booker quickly responded with a contested 15-foot jumper and the Suns were able to hang on for the win.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 23 points and seven assists. Walker added 14 while Pritchard and Daniel Theis had 12.
The Suns jumped out to a 27-19 lead in the first quarter after the Celtics shot just 7 of 26 (27%) from the field. Boston tied the game late in the second, but Booker hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left to give Phoenix a 52-49 halftime advantage.
Booker led the Suns with 13 points before the break while Bridges had 12. Tatum led the Celtics with 12.
For the first time this season, the Suns hosted a small crowd at newly renovated Phoenix Suns Arena.
Free tickets were given to health care workers, who were grouped in pods of two to four seats throughout the arena. The crowd was limited to 1,500 fans, and masks were required.
Second-year forward Cam Johnson came to half-court before the game and thanked the health care workers for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celtics: Boston was playing without forward Jaylen Brown (knee soreness) and guard Marcus Smart (calf). ... Tatum and Walker both got technical fouls in the third quarter for arguing with referees.
Suns: Phoenix was without several players, including forwards Abdel Nader (ankle), Jae Crowder (foot) and Dario Saric (ankle) and guard Cameron Payne (foot).
Celtics: Play the final game of their five-game road trip against Utah on Tuesday.
Suns: Continue their seven-game homestand by hosting the Cavaliers on Monday.
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David Brandt, The Associated Press