Suns rally without Paul, edging Rockets for 7th straight win

Feb 16, 2022, 6:50 AM | Updated: 9:23 pm
Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) rebounds over Houston Rockets forward David Nwaba (2) during ...

Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) rebounds over Houston Rockets forward David Nwaba (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored 24 points, Deandre Ayton added 23 and the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to seven games, rallying after Chris Paul was ejected to beat the Houston Rockets 124-121 on Wednesday night.

Phoenix improved to 48-10 heading into the All-Star break. The Suns won despite losing Paul in the third quarter after the star point guard was ejected for arguing and then bumping into an official.

The Rockets fell to 15-42 and have lost six straight. Eric Gordon missed a tightly guarded 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have tied it.

Houston led for a big chunk of the game and took a 95-89 lead into the final quarter, but Phoenix rallied in a hurry.

Torrey Craig’s 3-pointer gave the Suns a 96-95 lead. Aaron Holiday — who was recently acquired in a trade with Washington — followed with another 3-pointer and Mikal Bridges added a fast-break layup for a 101-95 advantage to finish the 12-0 run.

The game stayed tight from that point forward. Bridges made a short jumper in the lane for a 116-114 lead with 1:10 left. After a Houston turnover, Booker airballed a 3-pointer, but Bridges corralled the offensive rebound and made a layup for a 118-114 advantage.

Bridges finished with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Dennis Schroder led the Rockets with 23 points. Jae’Sean Tate added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Gordon scored 20 points. Houston has lost 10 of its last 11 games.

Houston took a 67-59 lead into halftime. Tate led the Rockets with 16 points and seven rebounds before the break, while Paul led the Suns with 11 points and five assists.

The teams combined for 43 free throws in a foul-filled first half — 22 for the Rockets and 21 for the Suns.


Paul was ejected after two quick technicals in the third quarter. He was angry after getting his right hand jammed on a pass and argued for the first technical.

He then bumped into referee J.T. Orr a few seconds later which appeared to earn the second technical. Paul left the court holding his hand but it was unclear if the injury was serious. There was no immediate update after the game. The 12-time All-Star finished with 11 points and six assists in 19 minutes.


The start of the second half was delayed because the rim on one of the baskets was bent. Suns 7-foot-1 center JaVale McGee hung on the rim a few times to bend it back in place.

A stadium employee climbed a ladder and set a level on the basket to make sure it was OK. Once the officials were satisfied, the game resumed.


Rockets: All five starters scored in double figures. … Alperen Sengun had 19 points and 14 rebounds.

Suns: Booker made a one-handed 90-footer at the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately for Phoenix, it was a few moments after the buzzer. … Hosted a sellout crowd for a 16th straight game.


Rockets: At Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

Suns: At Oklahoma City om Thursday, Feb. 24.


More AP NBA coverage: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Australia's Lauren Jackson poses for a selfie with a young fan following their win over Japan at th...
Associated Press

Lauren Jackson, Aussie fans enjoying her World Cup finale

SYDNEY (AP) — Thirty minutes after Australia knocked off Canada in the preliminary round of the women’s basketball World Cup, Lauren Jackson was back on the court signing autographs and posing for selfies with hundreds of adoring fans. They couldn’t get enough of the Australian star and she reciprocated the love, not wanting to leave […]
1 day ago
Germany's head coach Hans-Dieter Flick, left, shakes hands with England's head coach Gareth Southga...
Associated Press

World Cup Watch: European giants showing flaws before Qatar

LONDON (AP) — All roads now lead to Qatar. With the conclusion of the group stage of the Nations League, Europe’s top soccer countries have played their final competitive games ahead of the World Cup. Here’s how things are shaping up for a continent that has provided the last four winners of the World Cup. […]
1 day ago
Two Nepali sherpa guides, second right and fourth right, who survived an avalanche at a lower eleva...
Associated Press

Body of missing famed U.S. extreme skier recovered in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — The body of a famed U.S. extreme skier who went missing this week after falling from the world’s eighth-highest mountain was recovered Wednesday and transported to Nepal’s capital. Hilaree Nelson, 49, was skiing down from the 8,163-meter (26,775-foot) summit of Mount Manaslu with her partner, Jim Morrison, on Monday when she […]
1 day ago
El relevista de los Padres de San Diego Nick Martínez reacciona durante el sexto inning del juego ...
Associated Press

Padres beat Dodgers 4-3 in 10 to reduce magic number to 4

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jorge Alfaro is used to being in position to walk off games. Just not with a walk-off walk. Alfaro drew a bases-loaded free pass from Craig Kimbrel with two outs in the 10th inning and the San Diego Padres beat the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3 on Tuesday night […]
1 day ago
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Raywals walks through the dugout after he was pulled from ...
Associated Press

Mariners’ late slide continues with 5-0 loss to Rangers

SEATTLE (AP) — Robbie Ray has an idea for how to get the Seattle Mariners refocused and hopefully out of their late-season slide. Stop worrying about what is happening elsewhere. “For me, we’ve just got to stop looking at the scoreboard. If it was my choice, we turn that thing off. Because we need to […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Angels' Matt Duffy (5) scores ahead of a throw to Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy...
Associated Press

Jo Adell’s 8th-inning RBI sends Angels past Athletics, 4-3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Jo Adell drove in Matt Duffy with a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, Shohei Ohtani extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games, and the Los Angeles Angels opened their final homestand of the season with a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night. A.J. Puk […]
1 day ago
Suns rally without Paul, edging Rockets for 7th straight win