NBA regular season

Chris Paul climbs to 3rd in all-time assists as Suns top Pelicans

Chris Paul climbs to 3rd in all-time assists as Suns top Pelicans

RECORD-SETTER. Suns guard Chris Paul passes the ball as he evades the Pelicans defense.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Chris Paul dishes out 18 assists to mark another career milestone as the Suns complete a 20-point comeback against the Pelicans

Chris Paul posted a double-double and reached a career milestone as the host Phoenix Suns rally past the New Orleans Pelicans, 112-100, on Tuesday night, November 2 (Wednesday, November 3, Manila time).

Paul scored 12 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 assists while passing Mark Jackson and former Sun Steve Nash to move into third place in the NBA’s all-time assist list.

Paul, 36, ended the night with 10,346 assists as he topped Jackson (10,334) and then Nash (10,335). The list is topped by John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091).

Mikal Bridges scored 22 points, JaVale McGee and Devin Booker had 18 each, Frank Kaminsky scored 17, and Jae Crowder added 13 as the Suns climbed out of a 20-point hole, 31-51.  

The Suns outscored the Pelicans 36-18 in the fourth quarter while earning their second consecutive victory.

Jonas Valanciunas had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Josh Hart scored 16, Devonte’ Graham added 12 and Nickeil Alexander-Walker 10 to lead the Pelicans, who were playing the first of four road games in seven days.

New Orleans lost for the seventh time in eight games to begin the season.

Kaminsky and Cameron Johnson had consecutive three-point plays as the Suns, who faced a 20-point deficit in the first half, pulled within 65-62 midway through the third quarter.

Valanciunas scored 7 points as the Pelicans built the lead to 12, but Johnson’s three-pointer got Phoenix within 82-76 at the end of the period.

McGee scored the final 5 points of a 7-0 Suns run to start the fourth quarter.

Garrett Temple made two free throws to stop the run, and the lead changed hands seven times in less than three minutes.

Paul made back-to-back jumpers to help Phoenix take a 97-91 lead midway through the period.

The Pelicans got within one point, but Paul answered with two more jumpers and Booker added seven straight Phoenix points as the Suns took control with a 108-98 lead.

In the first quarter, Trey Murphy III made a three-pointer as New Orleans took a 16-point lead before Elfrid Payton’s dunk got Phoenix within 36-22 at the end of the period.

Valanciunas nailed a triple and added another basket to help the Pelicans take a 51-31 lead in the second.

Phoenix scored the next seven points before Alexander-Walker made a basket to end the run.

The Suns sank two three-pointers to get within nine before Hart’s layup sent New Orleans into halftime with a 59-48 lead. –