PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns have had a dreadful season, one of growing pains, long losing streaks and blowout losses. However, on Monday night they put together a performance that was far from that of the team that came in with the NBA’s worst record.
Kelly Oubre Jr. had 27 points and 13 rebounds, and the Suns rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the NBA-best Milwaukee Bucks 114-105 on Monday.
“We can’t back down when a team goes on a run,” Oubre said. “We’ve got to make our own, too, coming back at them.”
Devin Booker added 22 points and Deandre Ayton had 19 points and 12 rebounds, including a key layup with 35.8 seconds to play that gave the Suns a four-point lead.
Booker and Ayton teamed up on the play when Ayton rolled to the basket.
“He preached to me all the time about that move, about how guys overplay him sometimes and how the lane is right there for me,” Ayton said.
Phoenix outscored the Bucks 38-23 in the final quarter and swept the two-game season series with Milwaukee.
All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Malcolm Brogdon scored 19 points for the Bucks, who have lost two straight games for the first time this season. Milwaukee shot 36.8 percent as a team.
“It’s kind of hard to think we lost to Phoenix twice,” Antetokounmpo said. “But they played better than us. They came out there and set the tone.”
“I don’t think we take them as seriously as we should,” Brogdon said. “It’s just a lack of focus.”
Clippers 113, Lakers 105
In Los Angeles, Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points, Lou Williams added 21 and the Clippers dealt another blow to the Lakers’ fading playoff hopes.
Gallinari led six Clippers scoring in double figures while they comfortably maintained a lead over their Staples Center co-tenants down the stretch.
The Clippers (37-29) took sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference standings with their sixth win in eight games.
LeBron James scored 27 points and Rajon Rondo had his 32nd career triple-double, but the Lakers took their ninth loss in 12 games since they beat the Clippers on Jan. 31.
Spurs 104, Nuggets 103
In San Antonio, DeMar DeRozan had 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 as the Spurs withstood Denver’s closing rally to hold on for a win over the Nuggets.
Denver rallied from 21 points down and held San Antonio scoreless over the final 2½ minutes, getting the final nine points to pull within one, but missed three shots in the final 16.2 seconds.
In Other Games
Heat 114, Hawks 113
Kings 115, Knicks 108
Pelicans 115, Jazz 112
Nets 127, Mavericks 88