Booker hits 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left, Suns beat Knicks for seventh straight win
NEW YORK (AP) — The Knicks had been forcing Devin Booker to give up the ball, and for most of the game he was fine with an open teammate taking the shot.
“But with the game on the line,” Booker said, “I wanted to take that one.”
And he made it.
Booker hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining and finished with 28 points and 11 assists to lead the Phoenix Suns to their seventh straight victory, 116-113 over New York on Sunday.
With Kevin Durant out for a second straight game because of a sore right foot, the Knicks focused extra attention on Booker throughout the game. But after they forced him to give up the ball initially on the Suns' final possession, Booker raced to get it back and fired the winner from behind the arc, right in front of New York's bench.
Even with all the absences — Bradley Beal has played in just three games — the Suns have won six straight road games.
“Defense travels,” coach Frank Vogel said. “Big shot makers travel, too.”
Jalen Brunson had 35 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Knicks, who lost for the third time in 10 games. He hit the rim on a desperation attempt after Booker's 3.
Booker scored 40 points Friday in a victory at Memphis in the first game Durant missed. The Knicks seemed determined to make him a passer Sunday and the rest of the Suns players made enough shots when he gave it up to allow Phoenix to play from ahead most of the game.
But once the Knicks tied it for the final time on Brunson's jumper with 21.9 seconds remaining, Booker told his teammates that if he gave it up, he'd be coming to get it back.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau thought the Knicks defended the play well and was more disappointed by their slow start that had them playing from behind nearly the entire game.
“Tough shot, credit to him,” Thibodeau said, “but we played with fire the whole game.”
Durant worked out on the court before the game to test his foot, but the Suns later announced he would be out again. The injury prevented Durant from extending a winning streak that extends a decade and all the way back to his original NBA franchise. He has won the last 13 games that he’s played in against the Knicks, and didn’t lose to them at all while with Golden State and Brooklyn. His last loss was April 7, 2013, with Oklahoma City.
Gordon scored 12 points in the first quarter and the Suns outrebounded the Knicks 17-8 — Jusuf Nurkic had seven — to open a 34-22 lead. The Knicks trimmed it to 64-56 at halftime.
The Suns led by 15 before the Knicks finally worked their way into the game. Brunson and Quickley made 3-pointers in a 10-0 spurt and Randle began powering his way to the basket, making consecutive baskets to end what became a 20-5 run that gave New York its first lead at 86-84 with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the third.
Jordan Goodwin's 3-pointer gave Phoenix a 95-92 edge after three.
Suns: At Toronto on Wednesday night.
Knicks: Host Charlotte on Tuesday night in their final game of the group stage in the In-Season Tournament.
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