Chris Paul scored 21 points, including a critical three-point play with 17 seconds remaining, and added 10 assists as the Phoenix Suns outlasted the visiting San Antonio Spurs 108-104 on Monday.
The Suns trailed by double digits early in the game, rallied to take a three-point lead at halftime and swept to a 16-point advantage late in the third quarter. San Antonio mounted a comeback over the first 5:51 of the final period and tied the game at 88.
Phoenix went back in front on Jae Crowder’s 3-pointer with 5:49 to play and never trailed again, as Paul had two big buckets and Cameron Johnson poured in a pair of 3-pointers to push the Suns’ advantage to 103-97 with 1:11 left.
Crowder added 19 points for Phoenix, which rebounded after having its 18-game win streak snapped by Golden State on Friday. Deandre Ayton scored 14 points, JaVale McGee and Cameron Johnson had 13 each, and Landry Shamet hit for 11 points for Phoenix, which played without the injured Devin Booker for the third straight game.
Dejounte Murray led San Antonio with 17 points and 14 assists, recording his seventh-consecutive double-double, the longest such streak for the Spurs since Tim Duncan, who had eight, in 2008.
Bryn Forbes added 15 points, Doug McDermott and Jakob Poeltl scored 14 each, Keldon Johnson added 13 points, and Derek White tallied 12 as the Spurs had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The Suns used defense and six points and an assist by Paul to sweep to the lead late in the second period, forging a 11-2 run over the final 5:05 to take a 51-48 advantage into the break. San Antonio went without a field goal, and scored just two points, over that stretch of the quarter.
Ayton and McGee led Phoenix with 10 points apiece by halftime while the Spurs got 10 points from Poeltl over the first 24 minutes of play.
Crowder, with 12 points, and Shamet, with seven, scored the Suns’ first 19 points of the third quarter and keyed a 10-0 run that turned Phoenix’s four-point lead at the 9:19 mark into a 70-58 advantage with 6:12 to play in the period. The Suns led by as many as 16 points in the quarter before San Antonio closed to within 79-70 heading into the final period.