CHICAGO (AP) – Jusuf Nurkic powered to the basket for a layup with 7.3 seconds left in overtime and Phoenix outlasted the Chicago Bulls 116-115 yesterday in Bradley Beal’s Suns debut.
Grayson Allen scored 26 points, hitting a career-high eight three-pointers, and Kevin Durant added 25 points to help the Suns improve to 4-4 with their second straight straight victory.
“I was just proud of our guys,” Phoenix coach Frank Vogel said. “We got down in the the overtime and could have given up on the game or lost confidence, but we stayed the course.”
DeMar DeRozan’s jumper with 1:18 left in OT put Chicago ahead 115-111 in a physical contest. But Keita Bates-Diop hit a three just 12 seconds later before Nurkic put Phoenix ahead for good.
Nurkic scored 20 points and had 16 rebounds and eight assists.
“I was just tired of making mistakes in certain ways, like turnovers,” said Nurkic, who surrendered the ball six times to Chicago’s aggressive defenders. “And like, `Let me go finish.’ And it turned out well.”
Nurkic failed to ice it with a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds left – missing the first, then missing the rim on the second when he was trying to miss.
Beal had 13 points after sitting out the first seven games of the season because of a back injury. The three-time All-Star guard played 23:33. The Suns still await Devin Booker’s return from a calf injury.
“He was good in stretches and you could tell he was a little bit rusty in stretches, which was to be expected,” Vogel said. “A difficult opponent.”