Suns hold off Magic 116-113, breaking a 3-game losing streak

PHOENIX — Josh Okogie made a green 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter and blocked Paolo Banchero’s 3 in the dying seconds as the Phoenix Suns held off the Orlando Magic 116-113 on Thursday night for a three-game losing streak.

Devin Booker led Phoenix with 19 points. Cameron Payne had 18 points, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul had 16 each, and Okogie finished with 15. The Suns made all 17 of their free throws.

Kevin Durant missed his fourth straight game with a left ankle sprain he sustained while warming up ahead of his expected home debut against Oklahoma City. He’s only played three games with Phoenix since coming over in a trade from Brooklyn in February.

Markelle Fultz scored 25 points for Orlando, Banchero added 18 and Cole Anthony 17. Franz Wagner had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Wendell Carter Jr. also had 16 points.

Orlando trailed by 12 points in the second half before equalizing with 101 on Wagner’s 3-pointer with just under six minutes to go.

After a Phoenix timeout, Okogie’s 3-pointer restored the Suns’ lead. The Magic closed 114-113 on two Fultz free throws with 8.8 seconds to play.

PHOTOS: Suns holds off Magic 116-113, sparking a three-game losing streak

Terrence Ross made two free throws for the Suns with 6.1 seconds left in the game’s final points.

On the final shot, Magic trainer Jamahl Mosley said he expected a foul from Phoenix before Orlando could attempt a 3-point shot.

“They usually pollute,” Mosley said. “As soon as Franz caught it (outside the arc) they put two on him. Franz made the right play, pushed it to Paolo and he almost looked closely. But (Okogie) made a damn good game.”

Okogie said the Suns were planning a foul.

“I kind of read it and didn’t think it would be a good situation to foul him,” he said. “I expected the shot. Thank God I didn’t foul him.”

Suns coach Monty Williams added: “I’m just glad we were able to play enough games to pull out a win. (Okogie) plays like he has all year when he could play. We think bad, but they swung it quickly. Being able to end up making a game like that is huge for us.”

Orlando passed Phoenix 47-35 and had a big advantage in fast break points (26-2).

“We stayed calm, tried to keep picking up the pace and getting the shots we wanted,” Fultz said. “We played a close game but we had turnovers (19 for 17 sun points) and I had some stupid fouls. There were several plays that resulted in us losing the game.”

Fultz had nine assists and seven rebounds on his 25 points.


Magic: Gary Harris (right hip flexor) was in the starting lineup in what Mosley described as a “game time decision.” He played 26 minutes and scored six points.

Suns: Durant snapped some footage in practice on Thursday. “He hasn’t done anything beyond that, it’s just part of his development,” Williams said. “We’ll see how he responds to set-piece shots.” The original plan was to reassess Durant’s condition in late March, and Williams didn’t indicate that would happen sooner.


Banchero was everything advertised in his rookie season. The 6-foot-10 Orlando forward, the NBA’s No. 1 overall Duke averages 20 points.

“Most young players with his skills can score. Not many of them consistently hit the free-throw line,” Williams said before the game. “He’s the size to take a hit when he gets his paint.”

Banchero was NBA Rookie of the Month in December, January and February.


Magic: At the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Suns: At Oklahoma City on Sunday.

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