Booker returns, nearly has triple-double but Suns fall to Spurs again

Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) drives on San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell during...
Phoenix Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) drives on San Antonio Spurs guard Devin Vassell during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Nov 2, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)(Rick Scuteri | AP)
Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 9:29 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) — The Phoenix Suns’s comeback fell short in the fourth quarter and lost 132-121 to the San Antonio Spurs for the second straight game on Thursday.

After being down as many as 27, the Suns tied the game at 116 with a Keita Bates-Diop three-pointer with 4:21 left in the fourth quarter. But then the Spurs went on a 12-0 run, including 10 from the rookie Victor Wembanyama. He scored a season-high 38 points and the Suns couldn’t come back. Kevin Durant had 28 points, six rebounds and two blocks.

Devin Booker got his first bucket since his return about two minutes into the second. He finished with 31 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds. Booker had been out since the season opener with a left ankle sprain. The other man in the Big 3, Bradley Beal, was out again with lower back spasms.

In just his fifth NBA game, Wembanyama produced a handful of highlight plays, including flying down the lane for a dunk in the second quarter. The 7-foot-4 Frenchman shot 15 of 26 from the field and had 10 rebounds.

But it was his poise down the stretch that might have been most impressive. The 19-year-old forward hit a 3-pointer, made three free throws, dunked and hit an 18-foot jumper during the decisive run.

It was the second time in three days the Spurs beat the Suns in Phoenix. San Antonio shocked Phoenix 115-114 on Tuesday night, erasing a 20-point deficit and scoring the winning basket after Keldon Johnson stole the ball from Durant in the final seconds and made a contested layup with 1.2 seconds left.

On Thursday, it looked as if San Antonio would win in a blowout. It was a disastrous start for the Phoenix Suns. They had six turnovers in the first quarter and it took the team about three and a half minutes to finally score. Durant led the way with 11 points. They were down by nearly 20 when the first quarter ended, 39-20.

Wembanyama had the best half of his young NBA career, ending with 20 points, five rebounds and one block. Durant tried to keep the Suns afloat, with 13 points in the first 24 minutes. Grayson Allen and Booker both had 10 points in the first half. But the Suns were down 75-55 at the half, in part to 10 turnovers compared to the Spurs’ three.

The Phoenix Suns are now 2-3 on the year and travel Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Saturday morning.

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