NBA roundup: Suns’ stars shoot past Cavs

By Thomson Reuters Mar 12, 2024 | 2:31 AM

The Phoenix big three of Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal combined to score 88 points, led by Durant’s 37, and the visiting Suns beat the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers 117-111 on Monday.

Phoenix, opening a four-game road trip, overcame a sluggish start in which it fell behind by as many as 19 points in the second quarter. Beal scored 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the floor, part of the Suns’ 54.8 percent overall performance. In his return from a four-game absence caused by a right ankle sprain, Booker scored 27 points.

Behind Durant, who grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists to go with his game-high scoring total, the Suns chipped away at the deficit before taking a lead they never relinquished shortly before the midpoint of the third quarter.

The Phoenix advantage never grew to more than nine points, however, as Darius Garland and Caris LeVert each contributed to keep Cleveland within striking distance. Garland scored 30 points and accounted for almost half of the Cavaliers’ 15 made 3-pointers, going 7-for-10 from deep.

Pistons 114, Hornets 97

Cade Cunningham had 22 points and eight assists and host Detroit completed a season-series sweep of Charlotte.

Jalen Duren supplied 20 points and 10 rebounds and Simone Fontecchio supplied 17 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons. Detroit has won 11 games this season, with three coming at the Hornets’ expense.

Miles Bridges led Charlotte with 24 points and Grant Williams contributed 22. Brandon Miller had 19 points and seven assists.

Nuggets 125, Raptors 119

Nikola Jokic had 35 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists, Jamal Murray added 26 points and 12 assists, and host Denver rallied from a 22-point deficit to beat short-handed Toronto.

Jokic has 21 triple-doubles this season and 126 in his career. Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. scored 19 points each for Denver, which has won nine of 10.

RJ Barrett finished with 26 points, Kelly Olynyk added 24 points and Gradey Dick scored 17 points for Toronto, which has lost six of its past seven.

Mavericks 127, Bulls 92

Luka Doncic had 27 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds for his seventh straight triple-double and Dereck Lively II scored 22 points to lift Dallas to a rout of host Chicago.

Daniel Gafford (20 points), Kyrie Irving (14) and Jaden Hardy (11) also finished in double figures as the Mavericks won their third straight on the heels of a season-high-tying, three-game losing streak.

Rookie Onuralp Bitim sparked the Bulls with a career-best 17 points. DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic followed with 13 points each.

Celtics 121, Trail Blazers 99

Jaylen Brown recorded 27 points, six rebounds and five assists and Boston became the first NBA team to reach the 50-win mark this season with a victory over host Portland.

Jayson Tatum added 26 points and eight assists and Sam Hauser scored a season-best 22 points off the bench for the Celtics, who logged their 13th victory in 15 games.

Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the 10th time in their past 11 home games.

Warriors 112, Spurs 102

Jonathan Kuminga scored 22 points and Klay Thompson added 21 in his return to the starting lineup as visiting Golden State defeated San Antonio to gain a split of a home-and-home series between the teams.

The Warriors were without Stephen Curry because of an ankle injury but didn’t need him. Chris Paul contributed 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for Golden State, which snapped a two-game skid.

Victor Wembanyama returned to action for the Spurs after missing two games with a right ankle injury and led all scorers with 27 points while adding 14 rebounds.

–Field Level Media