NBA: Suns snap skid thanks to Devin Booker’s big second half

    Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a second-half shot against the Orlando Magic at Footprint Center on March 16, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns attempts a second-half shot against the Orlando Magic at Footprint Center on March 16, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. Chris Coduto/Getty Images/AFP

Devin Booker scored 16 of his team’s top 19 points in the second half as the Phoenix Suns went on a three-game losing streak with a 116-113 win over the Orlando Magic away team on Thursday.

Cameron Payne added 18 points from the bench for Phoenix (38-32), helping secure the win after Josh Okogie saved Paolo Banchero’s 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left. Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul each got 16 points, and Okogie got 15 points.

Markelle Fultz led Orlando (28-42) with the highest 25 points in the game with 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Banchero has 18 points and 8 bounces, Cole Anthony adds 17, Wendell Carter Jr. and Franz Wagner each scored 16 points.

Wagner has had the highest 10 rebounds of the season for Orlando, which has dropped six of the last eight. The Magic shoots 50% from the field but 28.6% (8 of 28) from 3 points.

Phoenix has improved to 2-3 since star Kevin Durant sprained his left ankle during a pre-match warm-up on March 8. The 13-time All-Star will be reevaluated in about two weeks. .

Orlando took a 12 lead at the end of the third quarter before using a 9-0 scoreline to end the game at 101 with less than six minutes left.

After Carter hit a 3-pointer to beat the Suns 112-111 with 1:32 left, Paul scored on his next hold to turn it into a three-point match. After one Booker turn, Fultz made two free throws with 8.8 seconds left.

Terrence Ross hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left before Okogie saved Banchero’s three-pointer to seal the win and even the season series against Orlando every game.

Booker was held by Phoenix by three points in the first half, which nonetheless led them 63-58 after halftime. Payne scored 11 points to lead all scorers.

Fultz had 10 points in the first half, but fouled Okogie with a half-court shot at timeout. The Suns entered the first half with a five-point advantage after Okogie made all three free throws.

Orlando pulled in the 75-74 with 5:49 remaining in the third inning before Phoenix went on to run 17-6 to extend the lead to 12 with less than two minutes left in this interval.

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