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    Booker-less Suns still too much vs Pistons for record 18th win in row

    Dec 3, 2021
    JaVale McGee Suns vs Pistons
    JaVale McGee provides infectious energy as usual.
    PHOTO: AP

    By BOB HUHN, AP

    PHOENIX — Cam Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 19 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to their franchise-record 18th win in a row, beating the Detroit Pistons 114-103 on Thursday night (Friday, Manila time).

    Suns vs Pistons recap

    Johnson and Payne sparked a stellar effort from the Suns bench, which finished with 48 points. Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Phoenix improved to 19-3 for the season.

    Cameron Payne, Suns vs Pistons

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    Phoenix won despite not having leading scorer Devin Booker for the first time this season. The two-time All-Star suffered a left hamstring injury in the second quarter of Tuesday's game against the Golden State Warriors.

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    Phoenix shot 76% in the second quarter and led 69-51 by halftime. Payne had 11 points in the second quarter.

    The Pistons fought back in the third on a 17-0 run to get within 80-79 after a 3-pointer by rookie Cade Cunningham. It appeared that Detroit tied it at 82 moments later, but a 3-point shot by Hamidou Diallo was ruled to have come after the 24-second clock expired.

    Phoenix stopped the rally when Payne hit two free throws and Landry Shamet made a 3, enabling Phoenix to take a six-point lead after three.

    Detroit did get within five points in the fourth quarter a few times, the last with 2:57 remaining at 104-99 on Saddiq Bey's 3-pointer, but Jae Crowder connected from behind the arc to keep the Pistons chasing.

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    The Suns have not lost since Oct. 27, when Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer as time ran out for a 110-107 victory.

    Jerami Grant had 34 points for Detroit, which fell to 2-10 on the road. Cunningham — last year's No. 1 overall draft pick — scored 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

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      TIP-INS

      Pistons: Kelly Olynyk (left knee strain), Jamorko Pickett (G League–Two Way), Isaiah Livers (G League–On Assignment) and Chris Smith (G League–Two Way) did not play.

      Suns: The Suns feel Booker's hamstring injury is minor, but they still expect him to miss a few games. Coach Monty Williams said they'll monitor him and see how he progresses. ... Shamet relaced Booker in the starting lineup and scored 14 points. ... F/C Frank Kaminsky (right knee), F Abdel Nader (right knee) and F Dario Saric (right knee) didn't play. ... Williams was named NBA coach of the month for November. The Suns were perfect for the month, winning all of their 16 games.

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      UP NEXT

      Pistons: Host the Thunder on Monday.

      Suns: Travel to face Golden State on Friday.

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      JaVale McGee provides infectious energy as usual.
      PHOTO: AP
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