Deandre Ayton powered his way to 31 points and 16 rebounds and the visiting Phoenix Suns never trailed while defeating the Detroit Pistons 116-100 on Saturday night.
Ayton made 13 of 15 field goal attempts. Mikal Bridges supplied 24 points for Phoenix, which defeated Eastern Conference leader Boston on Friday.
Cameron Johnson, who sat out the Celtics game due to right knee injury management, had 20 points. Torrey Craig contributed 14 points and Chris Paul had 14 assists as Phoenix shot 56 percent from the field.
Suns star guard Devin Booker missed his 21st consecutive game due to a left groin strain.
The Pistons, who defeated Charlotte on Friday, failed to win back-to-back games once again. They haven’t posted two straight wins since November.
Saddiq Bey led Detroit with 25 points off the bench. Bojan Bogdanovic had 23 points, Isaiah Stewart added 17 and grabbed nine rebounds, and Jaden Ivey chipped in 13 points and six assists.
Ayton had 19 points and 10 rebounds by halftime as Phoenix took a 58-49 lead. The Suns made 62.5 percent of their field goal attempts. The Pistons hung around behind Bogdanovic and Bey, who combined for 27 points.
Bridges hit a 3-pointer in the final second of the half to provide the nine-point advantage.
The Suns built off that momentum, scoring the first eight points of the second half. Ayton got that run going with a dunk off a feed from Paul. Johnson then had a steal, a three-point play and a 3-pointer.
Ivey stopped that run with a 3-pointer. Alec Burks cut Detroit’s deficit to single digits again at 73-65 with a 3-pointer.
Phoenix answered with a 9-0 spurt. Ayton hit a midrange jumper to get it going. Bridges had a basket before Craig drained a 3-pointer. Ayton finished it off with a putback.
The Suns’ lead was 88-76 heading into the fourth.
The Pistons pulled within 10 points several times early in the quarter. Phoenix put the game away with a 10-0 run to make it 113-91. Johnson had five points during that stretch.