Booker scores 38, Suns hang on to beat Bulls 127-124

Devin Booker scored 38 points, and the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns hung on to beat the Chicago Bulls 127-124 on Monday night.

The Suns led by as many as 27 points in the third quarter and withstood a push down the stretch to win for the 13th time in 14 games. They improved to 43-10 overall and a league-leading 21-5 on the road.

Booker hit the 30-point mark for the third time in four games. The All-Star made 14 of 23 shots, including five 3-pointers.

Chris Paul added 19 points and 11 assists. JaVale McGee finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Mikal Bridges scored 15.

Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan scored 38, coming off a season-high 45-point performance in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia.

Zach LaVine added 32 points after missing the previous two games because of back spasms.

Malcolm Hill scored the final eight points, including a layup at the buzzer, to pull Chicago within three. But the Bulls, who came in tied for second in the Eastern Conference with defending NBA champion Milwaukee, lost for the third time in four games.

Phoenix was rolling along with an 88-61 lead midway through the third after Booker hit a 19-footer, then withstood a push down the stretch by Chicago.

A three-point play by DeRozan cut it to 113-104 with 5:56 left in the game. Jae Crowder quieted the crowd with a 3. Deandre Ayton scored on a hook and hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it a 15-point game with 4:42 left.

The Suns took control in the second quarter while building a 67-49 halftime lead.

Booker scored 22 in the half, going 8 of 10 from the field with three 3-pointers. The Suns went on a 17-3 run early in the second quarter to stretch a five-point lead to 19. And a three-point play by Bridges midway through the quarter bumped the lead to 58-37.


Suns: Phoenix coach Monty Williams, in jest, when asked where he sees Billy Donovan’s fingerprints on Chicago: "I’m not a forensic scientist." Williams was Donovan’s top assistant during the 2015-16 season with Oklahoma City. Donovan has the Bulls contending in the East in his second season coaching them. "I learned a lot about coaching and different ways to pace," Williams said. "You could see that the foundation they laid last year is paying off now."

Bulls: G Coby White had 13 points after missing back-to-back games because of a strained right adductor.


Suns: Visit Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Bulls: Visit Charlotte on Wednesday.