The resurgent Phoenix Suns made it 11 wins from their past 14 games with a 120-109 home victory against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
Phoenix, who earlier this season endured a 2-12 run across a 14-game stretch, are now right back in the mix in the Western Conference, buoyed by the impending debut of trade deadline acquisition Kevin Durant.
Against the Kings, the Suns' main three players all performed at an exceptionally high level.
Point guard Chris Paul dished a season-high 19 assists – the second most by any player this season, trailing only James Harden's 21 against the Los Angeles Clippers in December – to go with 17 points on seven-of-15 shooting.
Offensive focal point Devin Booker led the Suns with 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting, and center Deandre Ayton dominated with 29 points (13-of-17 shooting), 11 rebounds, four steals and two blocks.
Both Kings All-Stars delivered, as De'Aaron Fox led the visitors in scoring with a game-high 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting, while Domantas Sabonis had 24 points (seven-of-12), 15 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
With the win, the Suns improved their record to 32-27 and moved up to the fourth seed in the Western Conference, one game behind the third-placed Kings (32-25).
February 15, 2023
Bucks extend winning streak to 11 against undermanned Celtics
The Milwaukee Bucks were pushed all the way by a Boston Celtics team missing four starters, ultimately coming away with a 131-125 overtime win at home.
With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Al Horford all out, Derrick White had 27 points (10-of-24), 12 assists and three steals, while Malcolm Brogdon added 26 points (eight-of-17) off the bench in a valiant effort.
But the heroics from the Bucks' All-Star duo pulled them across the line, with 40 points (13-of-21), seven assists and three steals for Jrue Holiday, while Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 36 points (12-of-26), 13 rebounds and nine assists.
The Bucks (40-17) are now just a half-game behind the Celtics (41-17) in the race for the league's best record.
Tied a career-high 40 points tonight.— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) February 15, 2023
40 PTS | 5 REB | 7 AST | 3 STL pic.twitter.com/twbs4f3MDN
Blazers waste another explosive Lillard performance
Nobody is averaging more points than Damian Lillard over their past 10 games, and he had another 39 in a 126-101 home loss to the Washington Wizards.
Lillard, who came into the contest averaging 38.2 in his past 10, shot 14-of-30 from the field while adding 10 rebounds and six assists.
But the Wizards were too good, led by their leading scorer this season, Kristaps Porzingis, with 28 points (10-of-15), 12 rebounds and five assists, while Kyle Kuzma bombed away for 33 points (11-of-20) and nine rebounds.
DUNKS BY D.O.L.L.A.#RipCity pic.twitter.com/a3agjz7wDh— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 15, 2023