Booker, Suns extend winning streak to 15, beat Knicks 118-97 | Sports News


NEW YORK (AP) – The Phoenix Suns have a 15-game winning streak in Brooklyn for a showdown with the Nets.

It sounds like a big game – but not for the booming Suns.

“We do it one at a time. We know we have a tough opponent ahead of us tomorrow, well rested, ”said All-Star goaltender Devin Booker. “So we just have to come in with the same mindset, play the type of basketball we do, defend at a high level, get in shape to do it.”

Booker scored 32 points and the Suns beat the New York Knicks 118-97 on Friday night to tie the second longest winning streak in franchise history.

Chris Paul had 14 points and 10 assists for the Suns, who improved to 16-3. The defending Western Conference champions will look to wrap up a perfect four-game trip on Saturday against the Eastern Conference leaders.

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“When you were in the league for a long time, it’s not a playoff game tomorrow,” said Paul. “It’s good for us to go out there and compete… We’re just trying to build. It’s not about winning a game in November.”

Phoenix also won 15 straight wins in the 2006-07 season. The Suns have won the franchise best 17 in a row later this season.

Deandre Ayton finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Booker was 14 for 27 from the field, making four 3-pointers. He did not attempt a free throw.

The Suns had to work hard to secure wins in San Antonio and Cleveland to start the trip, but were in control most of the time at Madison Square Garden. They were ahead for the last three quarters and led up to 24 points.

Kemba Walker scored 17 points for the Knicks, who have lost seven straight games to the Phoenix since beating them twice in the 2017-18 season.

New York shot 9 for 18 from the floor in the first quarter, but the Suns were just a little better, shooting 14 for 22 from the field for a 33-27 lead.

“If you give them the punches we gave them, they’ve built up a lot of confidence early on,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Once they get their confidence early on, it will be difficult to stop them.”

Booker scored 21 points in the first two quarters for the Suns, who shot 24 for 45 (53%) to lead 57-44 at halftime.

The all-star keeper led an 8-2 run midway through the second quarter and capped it by finding an open Mikal Bridges for a dunk that extended the lead to 48-34 with 4 minutes left in the second quarter.

And when Walker reduced the deficit to 67-57 with 7:31 left in the third, Booker hit a 17-foot jumper and a 3-runner in one minute to extend the Suns’ advantage to 72-57.

Suns: Jae Crowder had 11 points. … The Suns are the best 8-1 NBA on the road. …

Knicks: G Derrick Rose missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle. … C Taj Gibson (sore groin) missed his third straight game.

Phoenix has two nationally televised showdowns against the Nets and then at home against Golden State on Tuesday.

Suns coach Monty Williams knows his team are well aware of the momentous clashes ahead, but stressed the importance of focusing on the present and not looking past any opponent.

“You know it’s a long season,” said Williams. “You understand that every team in the NBA can get you in trouble. For me, I can’t turn to Golden State. I think about tomorrow. But I’m sure guys do that and you do it naturally and then focus on the next right thing you need to do. There’s so much parity in the league right now, that you can’t walk into a game and say, “Got it. You are going to get cut.

Suns: Stay in New York and visit Brooklyn on Saturday.

Knicks: Visit the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. This is the first meeting between the teams since Game 5 of the playoffs last season when the Hawks knocked out the Knicks.

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