NBA: Booker scores 32, Suns rally late
Phoenix goes on 24-8 run in fourth quarter
NEW YORK — Devin Booker scored 32 points, Mike James added 24 and the Phoenix Suns rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Brooklyn Nets 122-114 on Tuesday night.
T.J. Warren scored 14 of his 20 points during the final period for the Suns, who squandered an 18-point lead in the third quarter when Brooklyn went on a 17-0 run. Phoenix seemed out of it after Ronda Hollis-Jefferson’s basket gave Brooklyn a 106-98 lead with 6:35 left in the fourth.
But the Suns, who lost a tough one at Portland on Saturday, quickly answered with a 24-8 run for their first win on their five-game road trip.
D’Angelo Russell scored 33 points and Hollis-Jefferson had 21 for the Nets, who’ve lost three straight after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers last Wednesday at home.
Warren and James combined on a 7-0 run that closed the lead to 106-101 with 6:15, forcing the Nets to call a timeout.
After a miss by the Nets, Warren tipped in Booker’s failed layup to initiate a 9-0 run capped by Dragan Bender’s 3-pointer that gave the Suns a 116-108 lead with 2:03 left in the game.
A moment of silence was held prior to the national anthem at Barclays Center after a man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11.
The Suns’ bus to the arena was delayed by the terror incident, which happened two blocks away from their hotel.
With Jeremy Lin out for the season, there hasn’t been a shortage of guys willing to step up and provide leadership on the Nets. Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson graded Russell a “B+ to an A” for his on-court play. He entered Tuesday leading the team with 19.8 points per game while averaging 5.2 assists. Atkinson also lauded Russell, the second pick in the draft two years ago, for the way he’s been able adapt to a new culture.
“The leadership is going to come. I just think that’s going to take time. Think of yourself at 22 years old, he’s around veterans,” Atkinson said. “But I do think that something he’s working on. I think it’s my job to help him with it. With talent comes responsibility, so he does have responsibility to help lead this group.”
Suns: Phoenix played for the fourth straight year on Halloween, improving to 8-9 on the holiday.
Nets: Brooklyn has lost five straight games played on Halloween, dropping to 6-8, including 5-5 at home.
Suns: Visit Washington on Wednesday night.
Nets: Visit the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night for the start of a five-game road trip.