Led by Devin Booker who paced the way with 35 points, the Phoenix Suns were able to outlast the Charlotte Hornets in a 101-97 overtime victory on Sunday. Chris Paul chipped in 16 points, while Deandre Ayton had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.
🐝 8-0 DEVONTE' GRAHAM RUN to force OT on League Pass! 🐝 pic.twitter.com/uCDTwEc18b
— NBA (@NBA) March 28, 2021
The Suns led by 12 points with just under six minutes to play in regulation, but they only scored two points the rest of the frame. Graham scored the final eight points for either team in the fourth quarter.
Graham had a team-high 30 points, including 7-of-16 shooting from 3-point range, though he missed a go-ahead 3-point attempt in the final minute of overtime. Terry Rozier had a double-double, posting 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who are trying to navigate a playoff race without rookie sensation LaMelo Ball due to his wrist injury.
The win moves Phoenix to 31-14 overall and keeps them alone in second place in the Western Conference. The Suns have quietly gone about their business in a loaded West and stand to be a real tough out come playoff time.
Charlotte's loss drops them to 23-22, which is still good for fifth in the Eastern Conference. It's a logjam, though, in the middle of the conference, as Charlotte is 23-22 but just 3.5 games clear of the 10th-place Chicago Bulls. Without Ball, it will be interesting to see how well this team holds up. They were heavy at guard to begin with, so it will be critical for Rozier and Graham to carry the load at guard for as long as Ball is out.