Devin Booker celebrated his 25th birthday with 27 points as the Phoenix Suns overcame a slow start and never trailed in the second half of a 101-92 win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
Deandre Ayton added 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and 12 rebounds for the Suns, who avoided their third straight loss. Booker added nine assists.
The Suns trailed by as many as 14 with 8:50 left in the second quarter before closing the half on a 22-4 run and taking a 50-46 lead into the break.
Mikal Bridges, who recorded 10 points and five rebounds, scored with 44 seconds left in the first half to give Phoenix its first lead of the game at 48-46.
The Suns carried the momentum into the third quarter and moved ahead 71-52 when Chris Paul’s midrange jumper capped a 12-2 run.
Paul finished 16 points and 10 assists, while Cam Johnson added 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
Cedi Osman made six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting for Cleveland, which was playing the second game of a back-to-back after losing by 12 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Lauri Markkanen, Darius Garland and Kevin Love tallied 11 points apiece for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland closed the third quarter on an 11-0 spurt and cut the deficit to 78-65 after Osman and Ricky Rubio hit consecutive 3-pointers to end the period.
Collin Sexton tallied 10 points for the Cavaliers but committed six of the team’s 19 turnovers.
Cleveland rookie center Evan Mobley, who had a career-high 23 points in Friday’s loss to the Lakers, was held to two points on 1-of-6 shooting against the Suns.
Markkanen hit a 3-pointer with 8:02 remaining to pull Cleveland within 85-74, but Phoenix answered with five straight points.
Ayton exited the game in the fourth quarter with a right leg contusion and did not return for the Suns, who have won their last four meetings against the Cavaliers.
The Suns won despite shooting 23.1 percent (6-of-26) from 3-point range and 63 percent (17-of-27) from the foul line.
–Field Level Media