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Jan 26, 2024 9:52 pm

Pacers overcome Devin Booker’s 62 points, edge Suns

Obi Toppin sank a tiebreaking basket with 3.4 seconds remaining as the Indiana Pacers withstood a 62-point performance from Devin Booker to beat the visiting Phoenix Suns 133-131 on Friday.

Indiana battled back from a 17-point, first-half deficit and tied the game at 129-129 when Andrew Nembhard scored with 1:23 remaining.

After the teams exchanged baskets, Phoenix’s Kevin Durant missed a 3-point attempt before Toppin’s tip-in gave the Pacers their first lead since early in the first quarter.

Indiana sealed the comeback victory when Booker’s 3-point try fell short at the buzzer.

Pascal Siakam led Indiana with 31 points, while Toppin added 23, Aaron Nesmith and Nembhard each scored 22, and Jalen Smith recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds. Bennedict Mathurin chipped in 11 points.

Durant scored 20 and Eric Gordon added 14 for Phoenix, which had its seven-game winning streak come to an end. Bradley Beal scored 12 points and Grayson Allen had 11.

Booker recorded a season-high point total and the seventh 50-point game of his career for Phoenix, which shot 56.7 percent from the field and 13 of 30 (43.3 percent) from 3-point range. Booker shot 22 of 37 from the floor, including 6 of 12 from beyond the arc.

Booker opened the contest by setting a Suns franchise record for scoring in a quarter, finishing with 29 points on 10-of-14 shooting. He scored 15 straight Phoenix points at one stretch to help the Suns take a 40-31 lead at the end of the opening period.

The Suns extended the margin to 17 points before Indiana cut the deficit to 80-70 entering intermission. Booker had 37 first-half points for the Suns, who shot 66.7 percent from the field and 9 of 15 (60 percent) from 3-point range for the half.

Indiana pulled within 108-105 on Nesmith’s trey late in the third quarter, but Phoenix closed with six straight points and took a nine-point lead into the final period.

The Pacers played without point guard Tyrese Haliburton, who was named an All-Star starter on Thursday. Haliburton missed his fourth straight game due to a strained left hamstring.

–Field Level Media

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