Bridges scores 25, leads Suns to 106-94 win over Celtics
BOSTON (AP) — Mikal Bridges scored 25 points and Dario Saric had 14 with 13 rebounds Friday night to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 106-94 victory over Boston and send the NBA-leading Celtics to their fourth loss in six games.
Chris Paul added 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Phoenix, which had a 20-point, second-quarter lead trimmed to one by the end of the third. The Suns opened the fourth with eight straight points to turn back Boston’s rally.
Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and Jayson Tatum had 20 for the Celtics, who were coming off a 43-point victory over the Brooklyn Nets. But the two Boston All-Stars shot a combined 12 for 36 from the floor and 6 for 22 from 3-point range.
The Suns led 74-73 to start the fourth quarter before running off the next eight points, prompting Boston coach Joe Mazzulla to call a timeout. Derrick White drove for a layup to snap the slump, but Damion Lee and Saric hit back-to-back 3s, and the Celtics never got closer than six points from there.
The Celtics scored the first seven points of the game, but quickly gave it all back. Phoenix scored the next 12, with Ayton putting in three straight baskets to start the run.
The Suns started the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers by Ish Wainright and Lee — sparking another 8-0 run that helped them open a 32-20 lead. It was up to 20 points with four minutes left in the second before Tatum hit his first basket of the game — a 3-pointer — as Boston scored 11 in a row before going into the half trailing 57-44.
Tatum missed his first six shots. ... Devin Booker was on the Suns bench as he nears a return from a groin strain. He hasn’t played since Christmas. ... Ish Wainright sank a full-court shot, but it was just after the buzzer to end the third quarter. ... Luke Kornet left early in the fourth and limped to the locker room. ... The Celtics took the court on Jan. 23 with a 35-12 record and a nine-game winning streak.
Suns: At Detroit on Saturday.
Celtics: At Detroit on Monday night.
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Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press