Suns hold off Magic 116-113, snap three-game losing streak
PHOENIX — Josh Okogie made a go-ahead 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter and blocked Paolo Banchero's attempt at a tying 3 in the final seconds as the Phoenix Suns held on to beat the Orlando Magic 116-113 Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 19 points. Cameron Payne scored 18 points, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul each had 16 and Okogie finished with 15. The Suns made all 17 of their free throws in the game.
Markelle Fultz scored 25 points, Banchero added 18 and Cole Anthony 17 for Orlando. Franz Wagner had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Wendell Carter Jr. also scored 16 points.
Orlando trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before pulling even at 101 on Wagner's 3-pointer with just under 6 minutes to go.
After a Phoenix timeout, Okogie's 3-pointer restored the Suns' lead. The Magic closed within 114-113 on a pair of free throws by Fultz with 8.8 seconds to play.
Terrence Ross made two free throws for the Suns with 6.1 seconds left for the game's final points.
It was 94-85 Suns after three quarters. Payne had a team-high 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting for Phoenix. Fultz had 21 points through three quarters for the Magic.
Late in the first half, the Suns trailed 56-51 and used a 9-0 run just before the break to go up by four. After Orlando scored, Okogie was fouled by Fultz while shooting a halfcourt shot and made all three free throws to put Phoenix up 63-58 at intermission.
Orlando had a major advantage in fast-break points (26-2).
Magic: Gary Harris (right hip flexor tendon) was in the starting lineup in what Orlando coach Jamahl Mosley said was a “game time decision.” He played 26 minutes and scored six points.
Suns: Kevin Durant (sprained left ankle) took some shots in practice Thursday. “He hasn’t done anything outside of that, it’s just part of his progression,” coach Monty Williams said. “We’ll see how he responds to standard shooting.” The original plan was to re-evaluate Durant's condition at the end of March, and Williams didn't indicate it would be any sooner than that.
Banchero has been everything that was advertised in his rookie season. The 6-foot-10 Orlando forward, the NBA’s No. 1 overall pick from Duke, is averaging 20 points.
“Most young players with his skill set can score. Not many of them get to the free-throw line consistently,” Williams said before the game. “He’s got the size to take a hit when he gets to the paint.”
Banchero has been the NBA’s Rookie of the Month in December, January and February.
Magic: At L.A. Clippers on Saturday.
Suns: At Oklahoma City on Sunday.