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Warren’s double-double, Booker’s late recovery lead Suns to win over Kings

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts after hitting a three-point shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

The Phoenix Suns rely heavily on Devin Booker to lead the charge offensively, so when you peek at the box score and see the 21-year-old shot 9-of-25 Friday night against the Sacramento Kings, you would assume the Suns lost.

Fortunately for the Suns, T.J. Warren had one of his best games of the season and that along with a couple of key scores by Booker in crunch time were enough for the Suns to pick up a 111-101 win on the road.

Warren finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, making 12 of his 18 shots. Warren was hitting his signature mid-range jumpers and getting to the rim, playing very well when he stayed in to play with the Suns’ second unit. The Suns are now 8-0 when Warren scores at least 25 points.

It also helped that Booker, who still managed to finish with 26 despite starting 5-of-20, was able to close out the game late and hit four of his last five shots.

He scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, including a dagger jumper on the baseline over former Suns first-round pick Bogdan Bogdanovic.

In order to get his point across, Booker would follow that possession by draining a 30-footer right in the face of Sacramento big man Willie Cauley-Stein for the icing on the cake.

The Kings (12-23) had seven players score in double figures but neither had over 14 individually while Booker and Warren combined for 52.

In a rare occurrence, Phoenix (14-23) got great contributions from both Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.

In 28 minutes, Chriss was 5-of-6 from the field for 14 points and added seven rebounds and four assists.

Chriss was making open shots and changing the game with energy plays throughout, including a steal and windmill finish.

Bender was connecting on his perimeter shots, finishing 3-of-5 from deep for nine points while playing solid defense on the other end.

The win marked the Suns’ fifth win in its last seven games, a mark they haven’t hit since the 2014-15 season.

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