NBA roundup: Suns ride Devin Booker’s 52 to win

Devin Booker scored 52 points against the New Orleans Pelicans for the second time this season and the visiting Phoenix Suns tightened the Western Conference playoff race with a 124-111 victory on Monday night.

Kevin Durant added 20 points, Jusuf Nurkic had 19 points and 19 rebounds, and Bradley Beal scored 13 points as the Suns pulled within one game of the Pelicans for sixth place in the conference — the final guaranteed playoff spot.

The Suns, who defeated the host Pelicans 123-109 back when Booker first dropped 52 points on Jan. 19, clinched the season series with one game remaining. The teams will meet on Sunday in Phoenix.

Zion Williamson scored 30 points, Trey Murphy III had 21 and CJ McCollum had 15 for New Orleans.

Celtics 118, Hornets 104

Jayson Tatum scored 25 points and Sam Hauser sank seven 3-pointers off the bench to also score 25 as Boston completed a solid road trip with a win in Charlotte.

Kristaps Porzingis added 20 points for the NBA-leading Celtics, who went 4-2 on their last multi-game trip of the regular season. They outscored the Hornets 57-39 from beyond the arc.

Miles Bridges scored 26 points and Grant Williams, who was in the starting lineup, had 23 for Charlotte, which fell for the eighth time in nine games.

Magic 104, Trail Blazers 103

All five Orlando starters scored at least 14 points, led by Franz Wagner’s 20, and the Magic avoided a potentially major blow in their race for playoff positioning by holding off visiting Portland.

Portland came into Orlando on a nine-game losing streak, including a 60-point blowout its last time out at Miami. However, the Blazers had a shot at stunning the Magic as the buzzer sounded.

Deandre Ayton’s 12-foot jumper after a scramble for a loose ball fell short as time expired, and Orlando survived after coughing up a 15-point, second-half lead. Ayton led the Trail Blazers with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Grizzlies 110, Pistons 108

Jaren Jackson Jr. poured in 40 points as visiting Memphis edged Detroit.

Jackson also contributed seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks for the Grizzlies, who had lost seven of their previous eight games. Luke Kennard added 19 points and eight assists.

Cade Cunningham had 36 points and eight assists for the Pistons, who took their ninth loss in 10 games. Jaden Ivey tossed in 20 points.

Hawks 113, Bulls 101

Visiting Atlanta got 20 points from Bogdan Bogdanovic to beat the Bulls and move to within a half-game of Chicago, which holds the No. 9 spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Hawks shot 47.5 percent on 3-point attempts, 19 of 40, and had six players score in double figures. Atlanta won for the fifth time in six games.

Chicago was led by DeMar DeRozan with 31 points, while Coby White added 22 points. Ayo Dosunmu scored 15 as the Bulls lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Pacers 133, Nets 111

Tyrese Haliburton posted a 27-point, 13-assist double-double to lead host Indiana past Brooklyn in Indianapolis.

After giving up a pair of Brooklyn baskets, the Pacers settled into the game with an 18-3 run that Haliburton finished with a three-point play to give Indiana an 18-7 lead with 7:41 left in the first quarter. The Pacers never looked back.

Pascal Siakam had 15 points and six rebounds, while Aaron Nesmith chipped in 11 points for Indiana. Cam Thomas paced the Nets with a team-high 22 points.

–Field Level Media