Booker had 29 points and nine assists and Chris Paul had 21 points, 10 baskets and 14 assists as the SUNS beat the Wolves 134-124 for their ninth straight win

2022-06-24 0 By

In addition to dominating the western Conference standings, the SUNS won their eighth straight game, beating Utah by eight points, and improved to 38-9.Paul and Booker, the two core players, also continued to shine throughout the season, giving the sense that the team could make history and actually achieve its title goal.The Minnesota Timberwolves, one point ahead of the Lakers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference, face back-to-back games after a nine-point loss to the Golden State Warriors, testing towns and the team.Back to the game itself, let’s take a look at the starting lineups.Starting for phoenix: Paul, Booker, Bridges, Johnson and Biyongbo.The Timberwolves responded with a trio of Norwell, Edwards, McDaniels, Vanderbilt and Towns.Bridges fouled Edwards on the first possession of the game and made both free throws to give phoenix a 2-0 lead.Towns set up Norwell to help the Timberwolves open the scoring with an outside 3.The two sides were tied 7-7 in just over two minutes.Booker’s 3-pointer followed by Bridges’ outside shot extended the SUNS lead to 13-7.Though Vanderbilt’s step-back jumper and Towns’ 2-and-1 got Minnesota within 16-17 midway through the first quarter, Paul’s assist to Booker and two layups by Booker made it 25-18 again.The Timberwolves relied mostly on Dwight And Towns to score, and Shamet made three free throws after drawing a foul on an outside shot to give phoenix an eight-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 40-32.Edwards opened the second quarter with a steal and driving layup to cut the deficit to six, but Paul also hit a mid-range pull-up jumper.Again, he made a decisive shot from beyond the 3-point line, putting the SUNS up by 10 points, 77-37, after 2:20.The Timberwolves called a timeout, and it worked.Vanderbilt tied the game 53-53 with consecutive shots from inside and outside, free throws by Edwards, and consecutive inside drives by Vanderbilt.The two teams were tied at 57-57, 59-59, 61-61, 66-66, but at the end of the quarter, it was the SUNS offense that was more steady and consistent, Bridges’ 3-pointer and Paul’s 3-pointer.And Paul’s technical free throw after Towns complained about the officials gave the SUNS an eight-point lead at the end of the first half, 74-66.Edwards had 16 points, Tayshaun Prince had 12 free throws and Towns had eight in the first half.Booker led the SUNS with 20 points, Chris Paul added 15 points, four rebounds and nine assists, Bridges added 14 points and Bijongbo added 10.Biyongbo opened the second half with a two-handed dunk on booker’s lob pass to make it 76-66, just 10 points behind.Norwell responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession.Booker’s 3-pointer from midrange made it 81-69 with two minutes left, forcing the Timberwolves to call a timeout.The setup worked again, cutting the lead to 77-83 with two 3-pointers.Biyongbo fouled Edwards and put up a free throw to put the lead back to five.Towns played 2+1, but also let the two points were reduced to only two points.Shamet hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the SUNS back on their feet. By the end of the third quarter, Edwards’ buzzer made it 100-93 and the SUNS lost by one point, 26-27, to Minnesota.The two teams will go into the deciding fourth quarter trailing by seven points.The Timberwolves took the lead in the fourth quarter when Beasley drew a foul on Smith and made two free throws to cut the lead to five.Shamet in the middle distance let both sides back to 7 points difference.Chris Posers and Michael Reade continued to chip away at the lead, and Paul’s 3-pointer helped the SUNS hold on, and Bijongbo’s inside dunk made it 112-106 five minutes into the quarter.The SUNS shot better from the field during a three-point stretch that stretched the lead from six to 121-110 in a minute and a half.Timberwolves call time out again.Unfortunately, the suspension had little effect.The score between the two teams was further pulled apart.Beasley scored nine points in the quarter after the Timberwolves called a timeout, but Paul kept the lead and Jaylen Smith made six shots as the SUNS won their ninth straight game, 134-124.Edwards had 27 points, 5 rebounds and 10 assists, Towns added 23 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists, Beasley added 26 points, Tayshaun Prince added 14 points and 5 rebounds, and Noel added 10 points.Six SUNS scored in double figures, led by Booker with 29 points, three rebounds and nine assists, Johnson with 23 points, five rebounds and four assists, Paul with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, Shamet with 17 points, Bridges with 18 points and Bijongbo with 14 points and 12 rebounds.