Devin Booker, Suns edge Timberolves for ninth consecutive win
Devin Booker scored 29 points, Deandre Ayton tallied 22 points and 12 rebounds and the visiting Phoenix Suns rallied for a 99-96 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night in Minneapolis.
Chris Paul added 21 points and eight assists for Phoenix, which won its ninth game in a row. The Suns earned their second victory in as many nights.
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns led all players with 35 points and 13 rebounds. D’Angelo Russell had 22 points but missed a 3-point attempt off the back rim that would have given the Timberwolves a lead in the final seconds.
The Timberwolves led 88-83 with 3:40 to go after Towns buried a 3-pointer off an assist from Anthony Edwards. Towns’ shot followed a big 3-pointer by Edwards on Minnesota’s previous possession.
However, Phoenix was undeterred. On the Suns’ next three possessions, Paul sank a 3-pointer, made a jump shot and zipped a pass to Booker for a jumper that evened the score at 90-90 with 2:05 remaining.
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Ayton put the Suns ahead for good with a hook shot with 1:13 to go. Booker followed with a basket to make it 95-92 in favor of Phoenix with 46.8 seconds remaining.
Minnesota pulled within 95-94 on a jump shot by Patrick Beverley with 37.4 seconds to go, but Beverley missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play and tied the score.
Paul had no such issues from the free-throw line, sinking a pair of attempts to make it 97-94 with 19.1 seconds left.
The Timberwolves again chipped the deficit to one. Russell cut to the basket and made an open layup off an inbounds pass from Jaden McDaniels.
Booker and teammate Jae Crowder combined to make two out of four free throws to finish the scoring, sandwiching Russell’s missed 3-point attempt from the top of the key.
Phoenix led 40-39 at the half.
Minnesota started hot, building an 18-11 lead in the first seven minutes. Towns scored 11 of his team’s first 18 points as he made a 3-pointer, a step-back jump shot, a hook shot and four free throws.
The Timberwolves lost for the eighth time in nine games.