PHOENIX (AP) – Cam Johnson played the best basketball in his three-year NBA career during the absence of teammate Devin Booker with a hamstring injury.
Now that Booker is back, Johnson continues to add points. And that has made the Suns even more dangerous.
The NBA leaders beat the Oklahoma City Thunder for the fifth time in a row, 113-101, with 30 points from Booker and 21 from Johnson, who made all five 3-pointers he tried Thursday.
“It’s fun to play on this team,” Johnson said. “You see that everyone plays with energy and, when we win the games, it is exciting. It’s like when you played basketball as a kid. That’s the beauty of it. “
Booker topped the third-quarter bell with a long 3-pointer that gave the NBA-leading Suns an 82-69 lead after they started the second half three-point behind.
Booker – a two-time All-Star and who returned after a weeks-long absence with a hamstring injury – gave Phoenix the moment of the game midway through the third quarter, when he won an offensive rebound and lowered it. he took to the other side to attempt a dunk.
Luguentz Dort was waiting for him at the rim, fouled Booker as the ball stayed in the air and found his way to land inside the rim.
It was part of a 25-9 run that helped the Suns take control of the game.
Deandre Ayton added 19 points – including a resolute dunk in the final minute that earned him a technical foul after he hit the board – and 12 rebounds. Chris Paul had 16 points and seven assists.
Johnson was the catalyst for another great night for the Suns backups. He made his seven field goals.
Shai Gilgeous Alexander scored 29 points for the Thunder, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. The Thunder only hit 38.5% from the field and 26.8% from 3-pointers.