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Apr 11, 2024 1:05 am

Devin Booker, Suns pull away from Clippers

devin booker

Devin Booker scored 16 of his 37 points in the first quarter, Bradley Beal added 26 points and the visiting Phoenix Suns ended a two-game skid with a 124-108 victory over the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

Kevin Durant scored 24 points and added nine rebounds and Royce O’Neale chipped in 15 points as the Suns (47-33) avenged a home loss to the Clippers on Tuesday when they trailed by as many as 31 points in the first quarter.

Phoenix moved a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans for sixth in the Western Conference as it tries to avoid the in-season tournament and earn an automatic playoff spot.

Bones Hyland scored a career-high 37 points and added nine assists and Brandon Boston Jr. had 23 points for the Clippers (51-29), who were without all of their veteran floor leaders. Kawhi Leonard (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game, while Paul George (knee), James Harden (foot) and Russell Westbrook (hand) were given the day off.

Mason Plumlee had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Amir Coffey added 11 points as the Clippers remained one victory — or one Dallas Mavericks defeat — from clinching the No. 4 seed in the West with two regular-season games remaining.

In a far more competitive first quarter Wednesday, the Suns grabbed a 28-27 lead heading into the second quarter after they trailed 37-10 after the opening period Tuesday. Booker’s productive opening quarter came a day after he totaled 12 points in the game.

The Suns led by as many as 15 in the second quarter, but the Clippers closed the first half on a 20-4 run and took a 56-55 lead at the break. Hyland had 24 points in the half for Los Angeles.

The Clippers still led 93-92 through three quarters before the Suns took over midway through the fourth. Phoenix went up 107-106 on a Booker layup with 6:30 remaining and took a 110-106 lead on Grayson Allen’s 3-pointer with 6:02 left.

Neither team scored for over two minutes but Durant broke that drought with a reverse layup and Jusuf Nurkic added a floater with 3:06 left to put the Suns up 114-106.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Durant and Booker put Phoenix up 120-108 to seal the victory with 1:59 left.

–Field Level Media

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