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Return to Michigan sweet for Suns' duo

by The Associated Press | January 17, 2022 at 2:22 a.m.
Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) is defended by Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT -- Devin Booker scored 30 points and JaVale McGee added 20 in their Michigan homecomings to help the NBA-leading Phoenix Suns rout the Detroit Pistons 135-108 on Sunday.

"I was just hitting shots and the guys were getting me the ball in good places," said Booker, from Grand Rapids. "I never got to see the Pistons play in person very often -- I grew up about two hours west of here -- so I love coming here to play what was my favorite team growing up."

Booker made 11 of his first 14 shots from the field. He said he had 40-50 friends and family at the game after having numerous guests when the Suns played in Indiana on Friday night.

"Because of the pandemic, I didn't get to have anything like normal interaction with my family," Booker said. "But at least I got to see them and I got to wave to a lot of friends. That's better than what we've getting."

McGee, from Flint, also had a large contingent of family and friends at the game. He was 9 for 10 from the field, taking over after Suns starting center DeAndre Ayton left in the first quarter because of a sprained ankle.

Cameron Payne also had 20 points for Phoenix, shooting 8 of 12. The Suns have won the first three games on their four-game trip and six of seven to improve to 33-9. The are an NBA-best 16-4 on the road.

"We had two 39-point quarters, so we were obviously hitting shots," Coach Monty Williams said. "Detroit wears teams out by getting into the paint and getting to the line, and we were able to stay away from a lot of that."

Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham had 21 points before being ejected in the third quarter.

Cory Joseph also had 21 points for Detroit. The Pistons are 5-4 in 2022 after finishing 2021 with 18 losses in 19 games.

"That's a championship-tier team, and we're not at that level yet," Pistons Coach Dwane Casey said. "We know that, and there's not much we can do about it right now. When we did things well, they were able to match us. Playing teams like that is how a young team learns to win."

TIMBERWOLVES 119,

WARRIORS 99

MINNEAPOLIS -- Karl-Anthony Towns had 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a victory over Golden State, who played without star Steph Curry.

Jaylen Nowell scored 17 points and Malik Beasley added in 16 on five second-half three-pointers on an especially productive night for the reserves. The Timberwolves outscored a Warriors team wrapping up a four-game trip 40-19 in the last 16 minutes.

Jordan Poole scored 20 points and Jonathan Kuminga had 19 points for the Warriors. They played again without Draymond Green and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

JAZZ 124, NUGGETS 102

DENVER -- Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 19 rebounds in his return to Utah's lineup, Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and the Jazz beat Denver.

Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 21 points to help the Jazz end a four-game skid. Nikola Jokic finished with 25 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists to lead Denver.

ROCKETS 118, KINGS 112

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Christian Wood had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Eric Gordon made a clutch bucket with 12.5 seconds left and Houston beat Sacramento to split a two-game set.

Kevin Porter Jr. added 23 points and seven assists to help the Rockets rebound from a 126-114 loss Friday night in Sacramento.

Buddy Hield scored 27 points for Sacramento.

  photo  Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker signs a jersey after the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Detroit Pistons guard Hamidou Diallo (6) blocks a shot by Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Detroit Pistons forward Saddiq Bey (41) drives as Phoenix Suns center JaVale McGee (00) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) drives to the basket as Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, left, and forward Mikal Bridges (25) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Detroit Pistons guard Saben Lee, center, loses control of the ball as Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet, left, and forward Ish Wainright defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Detroit Pistons guard Killian Hayes (7) fouls Phoenix Suns forward Jalen Smith (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) brings the ball up court as Detroit Pistons center Luka Garza (55) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Phoenix Suns forward Ish Wainright (12) and Detroit Pistons center Luka Garza (55) reach for the rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 
  photo  Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) drives as Detroit Pistons center Luka Garza (55) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
 
 

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