NBA: Devin Booker leads Suns to overtime win in Charlotte

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Mar 29 2021 09:15 AM

NBA: Devin Booker leads Suns to overtime win in Charlotte 1
Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks at PHX Arena on December 23, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. File photo. Christian Petersen, Getty Images/AFP

Devin Booker scored a game-high 35 points Sunday afternoon to help the Phoenix Suns hold off the host Charlotte Hornets for a 101-97 overtime victory.

Booker and Chris Paul, who finished with 16 points, each made free throws in the extra period as the Suns picked up their fifth victory in their past six games.

Charlotte had its three-game winning streak snapped, and lost at home for the first time in six games.

The Hornets, who played without Malik Monk (right foot soreness), closed out regulation on a 14-2 run to force overtime.

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Devonte' Graham led Charlotte with 30 points and hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap its late surge, including his game-tying triple with 34.3 seconds left.

After Booker missed a go-ahead attempt at the other end, Charlotte got the ball to Graham, who let the clock run down to the final seconds. Graham's three-point attempt as time expired bounced twice off the rim.

Phoenix took a five-point lead in overtime before Graham hit a 3-pointer with 45.8 seconds left to pull the Hornets to within 97-95.

When Paul turned the ball over at the other end, Charlotte had another chance, but Graham's go-ahead attempt from the top of the key hit the front of the rim. Booker rebounded the miss and sank two free throws at the other end with 14.1 seconds left.

Graham made a pair of free throws to cut the deficit back to two with 8.3 seconds left. The Hornets nearly stole the inbound pass as Graham deflected it away before it could reach Dario Saric. But Paul took it away from Terry Rozier and drew a foul sending Paul to the line with 3.2 seconds remaining to make the clinching free throws.

Deandre Ayton finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds for Phoenix and Mikal Bridges totaled 13 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer early in overtime. Bridges also had eight rebounds and six steals.

For Charlotte, Rozier scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Miles Bridges finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Hayward finished with 15 points and six rebounds.


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