Booker, Ayton power Suns to OT victory over Hornets
LOS ANGELES – Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored 35 points and Chris Paul added 16 while both made key overtime plays to spark the Suns over Charlotte 101-97 in an NBA matchup Sunday.
Mikal Bridges added 13 points and a career-high six steals while 22-year-old Bahamas big man Deandre Ayton had 14 points and 14 rebounds as the Suns improved to 31-14, second in the Western Conference.
The host Hornets had 30 points from Devonte Graham and 22 from Terry Rozier in a losing cause, falling to 23-22, sharing fifth with Atlanta in the Eastern Conference.
Graham’s late 8-0 run, a layup and back-to-back 3-pointers, deadlocked the game at 90-90 to force overtime.
Bridges lifted the Suns ahead to stay at 95-92 on a 3-pointer with 3:09 remaining in the extra session and Paul added two free throws with 83 seconds to play.
Graham answered on a 3-pointer with 45.8 seconds remaining and responded to two Booker free throws and two of his own to pull Charlotte within 99-97 with 8.3 seconds remaining.
Graham stole the ball but Paul stole it back from Rozier and sank two final free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining to produce the final margin.
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