HOUSTON: Deandre Ayton had season highs with 26 points and 17 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns beat the Houston Rockets 109-103 on Wednesday night to end a two-game skid.
The Suns won for the first time since Jan. 9. Between the two losses, they had three games postponed because of health and safety protocols after playing at Washington.
The Suns led by 20 points in the third quarter, but the Rockets used a couple of runs to get back in it. A jump shot by Devin Booker, who had 24 points, pushed the lead to eight with less than three minutes to go. But Houston scored the next six points, with four from Victor Oladipo, to cut it to 103-101 with 90 seconds left.
Ayton made two free throws and Booker added two more to push the lead to 106-101 with 45 seconds to go. Oladipo made a pair of free throws for Houston, but a layup by Booker sealed the victory.
Oladipo and Eric Gordon had 22 points apiece for the Rockets. They have lost three of four since James Harden was traded to Brooklyn.
Chris Paul had 13 points for the Suns to give him 19,004 in his career, making him the 60th player in NBA history to reach 19,000.
Mason Jones made a layup for Houston to start the fourth quarter and cut the lead to five before Ayton took over, scoring eight points during a 10-0 run to make it 99-84 with seven minutes to go. Ayton had two dunks and two blocks in that stretch.
A dunk by Christian Wood soon after that ended a scoring drought of more than five minutes and was the start of a 9-0 run that got Houston within 101-95 with about three minutes left.
A 3-pointer by Gordon cut the lead to 11 early in the third quarter before the Suns scored the next nine points to make it 74-54 with eight minutes left in the quarter.
Gordon ended the run by Phoenix after that with another 3-pointer which was the start of an 8-0 run by Houston that cut the deficit to 74-62.
The Suns were up by 14 later in the third after a tip-in shot by Ayton. The Rockets then used a 10-1 spurt to get within 82-77 with about 2 minutes left in the quarter.
Phoenix went on a 7-2 run to extend its lead to 10 but a 3-point play by David Nwaba cut it to 89-82 entering the fourth.
Suns: Damian Jones and Dario Saric both sat out for a second straight game and Jalen Smith missed his fifth in a row because of health and safety protocols. … Jae Crowder had 11 points off the bench.
Rockets: John Wall missed his fourth straight game with a sore left knee and Danuel House (back spasms and self-isolation) sat out for the ninth game in a row. Coach Stephen Silas said he doesnt expect either player to return until at least next week. … Wood had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Suns: Host consecutive games against Denver beginning on Friday night as part of a four-game homestand.
Rockets: Begin a two-game trip on Friday at Detroit.