July 11, 2024

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Phoenix Suns hold off Charlotte Hornets’ late rally for a 107-96 victory

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SUNS SHINE. The Phoenix Suns hold off Charlotte Hornets’ late rally to hack out a 107-96 victory. PHOENIX SUNS PHOTO  

The Phoenix Suns held off a late rally by the Charlotte Hornets to secure a 107-96 victory at the Spectrum Center on Friday night (March 16, Philippine time).

Devin Booker led the charge for the Suns with 21 points and 11 assists, showcasing his playmaking ability alongside a well-rounded offensive effort. Grayson Allen and Bradley Beal contributed 15 points each, while Jusuf Nurkic dominated the boards with 13 points and an impressive 21 rebounds.

After suffering a tough loss to the Boston Celtics the night before, the Suns were determined to bounce back strong. 

Kevin Durant, who added 13 points, said everybody contributed to scoring the ball, ensuring their victory.

On the Hornets’ side, Vasa Micic led the scoring with 21 points, following up on his career-high performance earlier in the week. Miles Bridges added 17 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Suns’ balanced attack.

Despite entering the game in seventh place in the Western Conference standings, the Suns are keen to secure their playoff position and avoid the play-in tournament. With only two games separating them from fifth-place New Orleans and ninth-place Dallas, every win is crucial for Phoenix down the stretch.

Phoenix built a comfortable 25-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Hornets mounted a late comeback attempt. Brandon Miller’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 10 points, sparking hopes of a dramatic turnaround. However, Durant responded with clutch baskets, including a pull-up baseline jumper, to extinguish Charlotte’s hopes.

Miller reached a milestone in his young career, surpassing 1,000 career points in just his 60th game. Durant praised the rookie’s growth and development, highlighting his potential for the future.

The Suns’ defensive effort was crucial in securing the win, as they limited the Hornets to just 2-of-22 shooting from beyond the arc. Coach Frank Vogel commended Durant’s defensive prowess, expressing confidence in his ability to earn recognition on the NBA All-Defensive team.

As the regular season winds down, every game becomes increasingly significant for playoff-bound teams like the Suns. With their balanced scoring and defensive tenacity, Phoenix aims to continue their winning ways and solidify their postseason aspirations.

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