PHOENIX: Devin Booker scored a season-high 51 points in just three quarters, Deandre Ayton had 30 points and 16 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns stretched their winning streak to six games with a 132-113 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Booker scored 25 points in the first half and had 26 more in a sublime third quarter. After a contested 3-pointer splashed through the net, “MVP! MVP!” chants broke out across Footprint Arena, and the 26-year-old is certainly making an early season case.
The two-time All-Star had a steal late in the third before sprinting downcourt and flushing home a dunk for his 50th and 51st points. He added six assists and four rebounds. He didn’t play in the fourth quarter with the Suns holding a healthy lead.
Booker shot 20 of 25 from the field, going 6 of 7 from 3-point range. It was his second straight 40-point game. He had 44 in a victory at Sacramento on Monday night.
The Bulls struggled on defense the entire night. DeMar DeRozan led Chicago with 29 points. Zach LaVine added 21.
NUGGETS 120 ROCKETS 10
Jamal Murray scored 26 points, Nikola Jokic had 10 of his 12 assists in the first half and Denver won their fourth straight by beating Houston.
Jokic added 17 points and nine rebounds in just 27 minutes. Aaron Gordon scored 20 points and Bruce Brown had 18 for Denver, which never trailed in beating Houston for the second time in three days.
Kevin Porter Jr. scored 23 points and Alperen Sengun had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who fell behind 6-0 and 13-2 and trailed by as many as 33 points.
The Nuggets built a 74-47 halftime lead with Jokic taking just two shots. He instead spent most of the half passing to Murray and other open teammates for easy buckets.
JAZZ 125 CLIPPERS 112
Jordan Clarkson had a season-high 33 points and five assists, and Utah snapped a five-game losing streak.
Collin Sexton added 21 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Jazz. Lauri Markkanen chipped in 23 points and nine rebounds. Jarred Vanderbilt added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
John Wall finished with a season-high 26 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles. Reggie Jackson added 15 points for the Clippers, who lost despite outscoring Utah 65-22 in bench points.
CELTICS 134 HEAT 121
Jayson Tatum had eight 3-pointers and scored a season-high 49 points, and Boston held off hot-shooting Miami.
Tatum scored the Celtics’ first six points and had 41 points after three quarters. He finished 15 of 25 from the field, 8 of 12 from 3-point range and 11 of 12 from the line. He also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Jaylen Brown finished with 26 points following a one-game absence due to neck stiffness. Malcolm Brogdon added 21 points, connecting on five of Boston’s 22 3-pointers in the game. Boston shot 55 percent (46 for 83) and has won five straight and 14 of its last 15.
Max Strus finished with 23 points and five 3-pointers for the Heat. Bam Adebayo also added 23 points before being ejected in the closing seconds following a pair of technical fouls. Miami, which shot 52 percent (47 for 90) overall, was 18 of 40 from beyond the arc.
BUCKS 109 KNICKS 103
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, and Grayson Allen made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 30 seconds left after his superstar teammate fouled out, leading Milwaukee past New York.
Allen made only one 3-pointer, but it was the only one the Bucks needed after Antetokounmpo had carried them for so long.
He fouled out with a minute left and the Bucks leading by two. Mitchell Robinson made one free throw and the Knicks got the rebound when he missed the second, leading to a free throw by Jalen Brunson that tied it with 47 seconds remaining. After Allen’s 3-pointer, RJ Barrett missed a 3 for the Knicks and the Bucks closed it out from the free throw line.
Jrue Holiday had 22 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Bucks.
Barrett scored 26 points, Julius Randle added 18 and Brunson had 17 for the Knicks.
NETS 113 WIZARDS 107
Kevin Durant scored 39 points and Brooklyn extended its winning streak to three games by beating Washington.
Durant was 13 for 20 from the field and hit all 11 of his free throws in 37 minutes after scoring a season-high 45 points Monday night in a victory over Orlando.
Kyrie Irving added 27 points and Joe Harris had 14. Brooklyn has won five in a row at home.
Kristaps Porzingis had 27 points and 19 rebounds for Washingon. Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma each had 25 points for the Wizards, who have lost four of their last five games.
PELICANS 126 RAPTORS 108
Zion Williamson had 33 points, four steals and two blocks, and Trey Murphy added six 3-pointers and 26 points as New Orleans beat Toronto.
The Pelicans shot 52.3 percent from the floor on 45-of-86 shooting, had 28 assists and led by as many as 31 points midway through the third quarter.
Four other Pelicans scored in double figures: Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 13 rebounds, rookie Dyson Daniels added 14 points and nine assists, Herb Jones had 12 points and Larry Nance Jr. 10.
Toronto was led by Gary Trent Jr., who scored 35 points, and Pascal Siakam with 23.
CAVALIERS 113 76ERS 85
Caris LeVert scored 22 points off the bench, Darius Garland had 21 points and nine assist and Cleveland routed Philadelphia.
Donovan Mitchell added 18 points and six assists for Cleveland, which led by a season-high 33 points in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers are 9-1 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, the third-best home mark in the NBA.
All-Star center Joel Embiid led Philadelphia across the board with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Shake Milton scored 14 points. The 76ers had their three-game win streak snapped in the opener of a three-game trip.
Philadelphia’s starting backcourt of All-Star James Harden and Tyrese Maxey remains out with injuries. The Cavaliers played without All-Star center Jarrett Allen, who missed his third consecutive game with a low back bruise.
TIMBERWOLVES 109 GRIZZLIES 101
Anthony Edwards had 29 points, five steals and three blocks to lead Minnesota over Memphis in the first game of an extended absence for injured Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns.
Jaylen Nowell added 24 points off the bench and D’Angelo Russell had 15 points and 10 assists for the Timberwolves, who forced a season-high 27 turnovers by the Grizzlies and snapped a three-game losing streak despite being outrebounded 59-29 in a sloppy but spirited matchup.
Ja Morant scored 24 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who lost their cool down the stretch with successive ejections for Dillon Brooks and Morant. Grizzlies rookie David Roddy finished 13 points and five rebounds in his native city.
HAWKS 125, MAGIC 108
Trae Young had 30 points and 14 assists and Atlanta snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Orlando.
Dejounte Murray added 27 points and Clint Capela finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds after a dominating first quarter in which Atlanta built an 11-point lead.
Franz Wagner had 22 points and six rebounds for Orlando, which lost its sixth straight. Paolo Banchero added 20 points and five assists.
Led by Capel and Jarrett Culver (12 rebounds), Atlanta had a 49-33 rebound advantage.
THUNDER 119 SPURS 111
Rookie Jalen Williams scored a season-high 27 points and Oklahoma City overcame a 20-point second-half deficit to hand San Antonio their ninth straight loss.
Lu Dort scored 23 points and Josh Giddey added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the league’s No. 3 scorer with 31.1 points per game, sat out with a bruised hip.
Devin Vassell scored 25 points and Keldon Johnson added 19 for the Spurs.