Despite having a thin bench, the Phoenix Suns used a strong fourth quarter to pick up a 106-94 road win against the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
The Celtics outscored the Suns 29-17 in the third quarter and trailed 74-73 with 12 minutes to play, but Phoenix began the fourth with a 14-2 run. The Celtics never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Mikal Bridges led the Suns with 25 points. Chris Paul scored 15 to go with eight assists and six rebounds, and Dario Saric (14 points, game-high 13 rebounds) and Deandre Ayton (14 points, 10 boards) both logged double-doubles.
In addition to missing Devin Booker, who hasn’t played since Christmas due to a groin injury, the Suns were without Cameron Johnson (knee), Cameron Payne (foot) and Landry Shamet (foot).
Boston’s Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 27 points and added eight rebounds. Jayson Tatum had a poor shooting night, hitting 3 of 15 from the floor en route to 20 points, and Derrick White added 19 points.
The Celtics dropped to 20-7 at home. It was their first home loss by double digits this season.
Boston shot 10 of 38 (26.3 percent) from 3-point range and committed 15 turnovers. Phoenix hit 12 of 32 (37.5 percent) from beyond the arc and gave the ball away only nine times.
Although the Suns missed their first nine shots, they held a 24-20 lead after one quarter. Phoenix trailed 7-0 until an Ayton layup got the Suns on the scoreboard with 7:35 left in the quarter. That was the start of a 12-0 run that gave Phoenix a lead it didn’t relinquish.
The Suns led by 20 points after Paul made a 3-pointer with 3:55 remaining in the second quarter, but Boston responded with an 11-0 run that cut the deficit to 53-44. Phoenix had a 57-44 advantage at halftime.
Tatum didn’t score until he sank a 3-pointer with 3:35 left in the second quarter, and he was limited to six points in the first half.