By Mark Jay Abante

PHOTO: GStatic

DeAndre Ayton posted a solid double-double performance as the red-hot Phoenix Suns escaped in the hands of Golden State Warriors, with a 104-96 squeaker, in front of a crowded Talking Stick Resort Arena on Tuesday night (Wednesday, Manila time). 

Suns’ starting center chalked up 24 markers, 11 rebounds, and a pair of assists to tie their franchise record of 17 straight wins.

Despite losing the service of Devin Booker in the latter second frame due to a left hamstring injury, Phoenix still managed to grab the W. The all-star guard delivered only 10 points and two boards after playing for 15 minutes in the early showdown between the NBA’s top teams.

After the collision involving Booker’s incident, the streaking team were able to taste the lead, 56-54 before heading to their locker rooms.

The highly anticipated match up was still closed and neither team experienced a double-digit advantage, until Landry Shamet nailed a three-point stoppage, came from a well-organized play by the veteran guard, Chris Paul with 54.4 seconds remaining on the game clock.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in league history that two teams from the same division played each other having a winning percentage of .850 or higher after at least 20 regular-season games.

Warriors, who had a seven-game winning streak prior to the match, collapsed in the final period, establishing only 18 combined points due to their cold shooting night.

Golden State stalwart, Jordan Poole led his team with 28 points but it wasn’t enough for Steve Kerr’s squad to pick up their 19th win in the current season.

Suns capitalized the poor shooting performance of Stephen Curry who finished the game with the unusual 12 points, coming off to a four out of 21 shooting in the field including a dull 3-of-14 from beyond the arc.

On the other hand, CP3 provided the additional spark for the PHX, as he molded 15 points along with 11 dimes to help his team limit the Warriors’ second half performance to 42 points.

Paul and co. will try to break their franchise record on Thursday as they face the struggling Detroit Pistons while the both teams are set to square off again on December 4, but this time, GSW will take the home court advantage.

Report source: SPIN PH