LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Devin Booker scored 35 points and the Phoenix Suns protected their playoff hopes by beating the Philadelphia 76ers 130-117 on Tuesday to remain undefeated in the NBA restart. Booker became the Suns’ career leader with his 91st 30-point game, breaking a tie with Walter Davis.
Mikal Bridges added 24 points and Ricky Rubio had 16 points with 10 assists for the Suns, who began the day only one game behind eighth-place Memphis in the Western Conference playoff race.
Phoenix is 7-0 as the only undefeated team in the restart and an unlikely factor in the tight race for a spot in this weekend’s play-in for the final playoff spot.
Phoenix pulled away late after leading only 105-102 following back-to-back baskets by Alec Burks, who led the 76ers with 23 points.
A dunk by Cameron Johnson capped a 10-3 run that stretched the lead to 115-105.
The Suns continued their high-scoring play in the bubble after averaging 120 points in the first six games.
Philadelphia, No. 6 in the East and already assured of a playoff spot, is attempting to prepare for the postseason after losing Ben Simmons to a knee injury.
Shake Milton was Philadelphia’s only healthy starter against the Suns. The 76ers also were without Joel Embiid (left ankle), Tobias Harris (sore right ankle) and Al Horford (sore left knee). Josh Richardson was rested.
A FAMILY SURPRISE
Phoenix players were all smiles as they were surprised by having family members provide personalized introductions of the players before the game. All the players turned and watched the introductions while crowding around each player during his time in the spotlight. Coach Monty Williams said the team had seen the video before.
Suns: After making each of his 14 free throws in Monday’s win over Oklahoma City, his third straight game of making every free throw, Booker was less than perfect from the charity stripe. He missed an attempt early in the third period and finished 11 of 12. He is tied for second in the league with his 91.9% free-throw shooting.
76ers: Burks posted his third straight game with at least 20 points. Raul Neto had 22 points. Mike Scott had 17.
Suns: Play the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
76ers: Play the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.
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