NBA regular season

Devin Booker drops 38 as Suns hold off Bulls

Devin Booker drops 38 as Suns hold off Bulls

NO. 1 TEAM. Devin Booker and the Suns remain at the top of the NBA standings.

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Devin Booker has scored at least 30 points in five of his last eight games as the Suns earn their 13th win in 14 matches

Devin Booker scored 38 points, Chris Paul and Jae Crowder each had double-doubles, and the visiting Phoenix Suns topped the Chicago Bulls, 127-124, on Monday, February 7 (Tuesday, February 8, Manila time), for their 13th win in 14 games.

The Suns, who led by as many as 27 points, shot 54.4% compared to 47.8% for the Bulls.

Booker went 14-for-23 from the field. He has scored at least 30 points in five of his past eight games.

Chicago lost for the second time in as many days while permitting 115-plus points for the seventh straight game.

DeMar DeRozan converted a three-point play to cut the Suns’ advantage to 9 with 5:56 to go, but Phoenix responded with 5 points in the next 40 seconds to regain control before the Bulls’ reserves made a late run.

Paul contributed 19 points and 11 assists for the Suns. Crowder scored 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and finished with 6 assists. JaVale McGee (16 points), Mikal Bridges (15), and Deandre Ayton (13) also scored in double figures.

DeRozan (38 points) and Zach LaVine (32 points) paced Chicago. It marked the third time the duo has scored at least 30 points in the same game this season.

Coby White added 13 points for the Bulls, while Nikola Vucevic overcame a slow start to finish with 13 points and 12 rebounds, giving him 11 double-doubles in his past 15 games. LaVine also had 8 assists and 6 rebounds, while Javonte Green grabbed 8 boards.

Booker scored 22 first-half points on 8-for-10 shooting, including a 3-for-4 effort from three-point range. Phoenix surged to a 67-49 lead at the break behind 56.5% accuracy from the field and savvy ball movement. The Suns had 16 assists against just 4 turnovers in the first 24 minutes.

In two games against Chicago last season, Booker averaged 33.5 points to lead the Suns.

LaVine (back spasms) and White (right adductor strain) each returned to the lineup for Chicago after missing the past two games.

Phoenix improved to an NBA-leading 21-5 on the road. The Suns are set to conclude a four-game trip Tuesday when they visit Philadelphia. –