Nets finish strong, beat Suns 122-104 for first road win
PHOENIX (AP) — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Brooklyn Nets to their first road victory of the season, 122-104 over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
The Nets held a 102-100 lead with 4:16 to play but scored the next 17 points, including Brook Lopez’s 3-pointer with 1:47 to go to make it 113-100.
Trevor Booker added 19 points and eight rebounds, and Sean Kilpatrick had 19 points and nine boards for the Nets. Joe Harris also scored 19 points.
T.J. Warren scored 18 points for the Suns. Jared Dudley added 17 off the bench and Alex Len scored 11 points to go with 10 rebounds.
The Suns fell apart after Devin Booker’s short jumper pulled them within two points with a little more than 4 minutes left and lost for the third time in four games.
The Suns trimmed a 13-point halftime deficit to six in the third quarter, only to have the Nets build the lead back to 11. Dudley’s corner 3 cut Brooklyn’s lead to 82-77 with 1:38 left.
Luis Scola’s 3 with 33 seconds remaining in the period gave the Nets a 10-point lead, but Dudley swished another 3 at the buzzer to make the score 90-83.
Phoenix shot a season-low 37.4 percent.
Harris’ two free throws gave Brooklyn its biggest lead of the first half at 57-41 with 1:08 to go. The Nets finished the half up 58-45 after leading by double digits for the last 5:19 of the second quarter.
Nets: G Jeremy Lin remains out with a strained left hamstring. He watched Saturday’s game from the bench and is expected to be re-evaluated this coming week. . F Isaiah Whitehead missed his second straight game with a concussion and is not with the team.
Suns: C Tyson Chandler remains away from the team due to a family matter and missed his third straight game. Len started in his place. . Rookie Tyler Ulis played 11 minutes, the most action he’s seen since getting 18 on Halloween against the Los Angeles Clippers and the third game in which he’s played this season.
ANOTHER COACH, ANOTHER COMPLIMENT
Add the Nets’ Kenny Atkinson to the list of NBA coaches who have praised Booker’s game. “I’m impressed with the confidence, the swagger he plays with and the attack mentality,” Atkinson said. “And that’s from the first day he stepped in the league, he was going for it and he is a heck of a scorer. He is going to be a heck of a player in this league.”
Booker, the team’s leading scorer at 21.5 points per game coming in, made only 5 of 18 shots and finished with 11 points.
Suns rookie Marquess Chriss got his third start and finished with a career-high 16 points. Chriss eclipsed his high of seven shot attempts before halftime, and took 15 in the game.
LOUD FAN HEARS IT
A vociferous fan sitting a few rows up from the court yelled at Suns coach Earl Watson to take Booker out of the game after a missed shot in the fourth quarter. The fan had been critical of the Suns all night, and Watson turned to him and calm but audibly said “Shut up.”
Nets: At the Clippers on Monday night, their first of two straight games against the Los Angeles teams in the Staples Center.