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SPORTS

Suns take down Pistons for team-record 18th straight victory

BASKETBALL By Reuters | December 4th 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne (15) against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Footprint Center. [Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports]

Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne had 19 points and six rebounds apiece and the host Phoenix Suns set a franchise record with their 18th consecutive victory by defeating the struggling Detroit Pistons 114-103 on Thursday.

Mikal Bridges supplied 18 points, while Deandre Ayton contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds. Landry Shamet tossed in 14 points, while Chris Paul added 12 points and 12 assists for Phoenix.

The Suns didn’t have their top scorer, Devin Booker, who injured his hamstring during the team’s record-tying victory over Golden State on Tuesday.

Jerami Grant’s 34 points led the Pistons, who have lost eight straight. Detroit was finishing up a five-game road trip.

Cade Cunningham had 19 points and five assists and Isaiah Stewart added 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Phoenix finished the first quarter on a 12-2 run to gain a 30-18 lead. JaVale McGee scored eight of those points.  The Suns gradually stretched the lead in the second quarter.

Johnson made a bank shot with three minutes left to give his club a 57-40 lead.

Phoenix had a 10-3 spurt to close the half for a 69-51 lead at the break. The Suns had three players in double figures, as Payne scored 15, Ayton had 13 and Johnson tossed in 12.

Phoenix shot 60.5 percent and limited Detroit to 39 percent. Grant carried the Pistons with 17 points.

The Pistons were still down 18 at 80-62 after Bridges’ 3-pointer. They suddenly caught fire and reeled off 17 unanswered points. Cunningham led the charge with 10 points, including a 3-pointer to cap it off.

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