Suns use big 3rd quarter to beat Knicks for 3rd in a row
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 18, 2018 11:21 AM
Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker (1) drives past New York Knicks' Noah Vonleh during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
By Brian Mahoney, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Devin Booker tied his season high with 38 points, T.J. Warren scored 17 of his 26 during Phoenix's 41-point third quarter and the Suns beat the New York Knicks 128-110 on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) for their third straight victory.
Phoenix outscored New York 41-17 in the third and went on to win three consecutive games for the first time since March 2-5, 2017. The Suns won only four times in their first 28 games, but are 3-for-3 since.
Deandre Ayton finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns in an impressive start to a five-game road trip, their longest of the season. Last-place Phoenix improved to 2-13 away from home.
Booker just returned Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) from a six-game absence with a left hamstring strain and scored 28 points against Minnesota. He was even better with a game under his belt, hurting the Knicks not only with his perimeter shooting but also going 14-of-15 from the free throw line and grabbing seven rebounds.
Emmanuel Mudiay had 32 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Knicks, who lost for the seventh time in eight games. Rookie forward Kevin Knox scored 17.
New York played without leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. because of a sore right heel.
Mudiay came in averaging 18.5 points in his last eight games and was just about there by halftime, with 18 points. Knox had 13 and the Knicks were ahead 66-59.
Things changed quickly in the third quarter, when the Suns went 16-of-22 from the field — with one of the misses being a halfcourt heave as the buzzer sounded.
The game was tied at 79 after Mudiay's layup but Warren nailed a long three-pointer to ignite what became a 21-4 finish to the period. Warren had another three later in the run, and Jamal Crawford hit a couple jumpers and had four assists, including an alley-oop pass to Richaun Holmes.
With their 100-83 lead, the Suns kept up the pressure early in the fourth and quickly put the game out of reach.
Suns: Josh Jackson scored 14 points and Holmes had 13. ... Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers were not with the team after their acquisition from Washington became official earlier Monday (Tuesday, PHL time). The Wizards agreed to send them to Phoenix on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) for Trevor Ariza.
Knicks: Veteran guard Courtney Lee started for Hardaway in just his seventh game of the season. Lee was out when the season began because of a neck injury. ... The Knicks played without rookies Allonzo Trier (strained left hamstring) and Mitchell Robinson (sprained left ankle). Trier's absence prevented him from facing Ayton, his former Arizona teammate.
Suns: Visit Boston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).
Knicks: Visit Philadelphia on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).