NBA regular season

Suns take down Pistons for team-record 18th straight win

Suns take down Pistons for team-record 18th straight win

VETERAN MOVES. Suns star Chris Paul steals the ball from Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Even minus top scorer Devin Booker, the Suns roll to a franchise-record 18 straight victories

Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne had 19 points and 6 rebounds apiece and the host Phoenix Suns set a franchise record with their 18th consecutive victory by defeating the struggling Detroit Pistons, 114-103, on Thursday, December 2 (Friday, December 3, Manila time).

Mikal Bridges supplied 18 points, while Deandre Ayton contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds. Landry Shamet tossed in 14 points, while Chris Paul added 12 points and 12 assists for Phoenix.

The Suns didn’t have their top scorer, Devin Booker, who injured his hamstring during the team’s record-tying victory over Golden State on Tuesday.

Jerami Grant’s 34 points led the Pistons, who have lost eight straight. Detroit was finishing up a five-game road trip. Cade Cunningham had 19 points and 5 assists and Isaiah Stewart added 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Phoenix finished the first quarter on a 12-2 run to gain a 30-18 lead. JaVale McGee scored 8 of those points. The Suns gradually stretched the lead in the second quarter. Johnson made a bank shot with three minutes left to give his club a 57-40 lead.

Phoenix had a 10-3 spurt to close the half for a 69-51 lead at the break. The Suns had three players in double figures, as Payne scored 15, Ayton had 13, and Johnson tossed in 12. 

Phoenix shot 60.5% and limited Detroit to 39%. Grant carried the Pistons with 17 points.

The Pistons were still down 18 at 80-62 after Bridges’ thee-pointer. They suddenly caught fire and reeled off 17 unanswered points. 

Cunningham led the charge with 10 points, including a three-pointer to cap it off. The Suns ended the quarter with a 7-2 spurt for an 87-81 lead.

Hamidou Diallo’s triple with 6:25 left in the game pulled Detroit within five at 97-92. It was still a five-point game before Paul fired in a mid-range shot to make it 106-99 with 2:37 left. Shamet restored Phoenix’s double-digit advantage with a 3-pointer off a Paul feed. –