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Durant, Booker lead Suns to fifth straight win

PHOENIX (AP) – The Phoenix Suns slogged through a technical-filled game that nearly ended in a turnover-filled nightmare.

In the end, it counted as their fifth straight win.

Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Devin Booker added 25, which was enough for the Suns, who nearly blew a 23-point lead in the second half of a 123-115 victory yesterday.

The Suns had an 83-60 lead midway through the third quarter, but the Warriors managed to cut the advantage to 118-115 with 19 seconds left after Durant was called for a technical foul. Booker made a pair of free throws with 12.4 seconds left to thwart the rally.

“We have to do better,” Booker said. “Simple as that. We have to take care of the ball, no turnovers, get stops. When that game’s at 10, 15 points in the fourth, don’t give any team hope, don’t gave any team confidence.”

Durant and Booker combined to go 28 for 29 on free throws. The Suns were 44 of 52 as a team.

ABOVE & BELOW: Golden State Warriors guard Chris Paul reacts to referee Scott Foster after being ejected for a second technical foul during the first half; and Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant attempts a shot over Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. PHOTO: AFP
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker defended by Golden State Warriors players Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry. PHOTO: AFP

The Warriors have lost seven of their past eight games, falling to 7-9 for the season.

“Foul, foul, foul, foul,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Can’t win in the NBA if you’re constantly trying to attack a set defence after free throws and you’re basically giving up 44 points.”

Golden State point guard Chris Paul was ejected by referee Scott Foster in his return to the desert after receiving two technicals late in the second quarter for arguing. He finished with six points and six assists.

“I didn’t think Chris deserved to be ejected,” Kerr said. “The first tech? Absolutely. But I thought the second one was unnecessary. Everybody gets frustrated out there, but that’s up to the official.”

Paul played the past three years for the Suns, helping the team advance to the NBA Finals in 2021. The 38-year-old was traded to the Wizards – and promptly dealt to the Warriors – as part of the trade that brought Bradley Beal to Phoenix during the offseason.

The Suns played a tribute video for Paul, a 12-time All-Star, before the game. Klay Thompson led Golden State with 23 points, while Dario Saric added 17 and Stephen Curry had 16.