Suns extend streak with victory over skidding Rockets

Devin Booker Suns

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball during the NBA game at Footprint Center on November 02, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Pelicans 112-100. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Devin Booker scored a game-high 26 points and JaVale McGee recorded a double-double as the Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to eight games with a 115-89 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Booker tallied 16 first-quarter points to get the Suns off to a solid start while McGee excelled filling the void for Deandre Ayton (leg). McGee added three blocked shots to his 19 points and 14 rebounds to anchor the Suns’ interior defense as Phoenix took advantage of another ragged display of ball handling from Houston.

The Rockets, last in the league with 18.9 turnovers per game, totaled 23 turnovers that Phoenix converted into 22 points. Those miscues, in addition to 7-for-32 3-point shooting, stalled any attempt for the Rockets to snap a skid that reached 11 consecutive games.

Christian Wood paired 17 points with eight rebounds for Houston while the starting backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green totaled 24 points, eight assists and 10 turnovers. Rookie Alperen Sengun produced his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards off the bench.

The Rockets mustered a spirited effort despite their avalanche of turnovers and trailed by only four points at 27-23 entering the second period despite committing nine turnovers in the first quarter. A Green layup at the 3:30 mark of the second kept the deficit at four before Mikal Bridges (14 points, six rebounds) followed a McGee three-point play with a 3-pointer that pushed the Suns’ lead to 43-33.

Wood sank a late 3 for the Rockets, who cut the margin to 51-44 at the break. But Houston posted as many turnovers as field goals (eight) in the second period, enabling the Suns to maintain control despite shooting just 39.6 percent in the first half. Phoenix had 17 points on 17 Houston turnovers at the intermission.

While Houston opened the second half 0-for-4, the Suns turned a 7-0 spurt that featured a 3-pointer by Chris Paul (15 points, seven steals) and two Booker free throws and a layup into a 14-point advantage. Frank Kaminsky pushed the lead to 71-50 with two free throws with 5:16 left in the third and the Rockets struggled to maintain close contact for the remainder of the second half.


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