San Francisco Chronicle
Thomas goes off again but Nets fall to Suns
Deandre Ayton matched his career high with 35 points, Devin Booker scored 19 in his first game since Christmas and the Phoenix Suns held off Cam Thomas and the host Brooklyn Nets 116-112 on Tuesday night.
Thomas, 21, led a late charge and finished with 43 points, becoming the youngest player in NBA history with three straight 40-point games. He had 44 and a career-high 47 points in his previous two games.
Mikal Bridges had 17 of his 21 points in the second half and played a key role in the defensive effort that cooled off Thomas just long enough for the Suns to build a 12-point lead with 2:25 remaining.
Booker missed the previous 21 games with a strained left groin. but had a strong stretch after the Suns led by just three midway through the fourth quarter. He scored six points and set up Ayton for another basket during a 13-4 run that pushed it to 109-97 with 2:25 to go.
Thomas rallied the Nets mostly from the free-throw line, and his intentional miss with 4.1 seconds remaining left the Suns with a 114-112 lead. He then fouled Ayton, who finished it with two free throws after going 14-for-18 from the field and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Nic Claxton and T.J. Warren had 17 points each for the Nets, who lost on back-to-back nights after trading Kyrie Irving and fell to 5-9 without the injured Kevin Durant. They opted not to play Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith, the players they acquired from Dallas in the trade for Irving.
Chris Paul surpassed 2,500 steals, a mark reached by only John Stockton, Jason Kidd and Michael Jordan. Paul had nine points and 12 assists.
• The Nets dealt forward Kessler Edwards to Sacramento for the rights to 2016 secondround pick David Michineau and cash.
Knicks 102, Magic 98: Jalen Brunson scored 25 points and made the go-ahead basket with 1:13 left, Julius Randle had 22 points and 14 rebounds and visiting New York beat Orlando.
Brunson's bank shot put the Knicks up for good at 94-93. He then fed Jericho Sims for a dunk and a three-point lead.
The teams combined for 10 free-throw attempts in the final 7.7 seconds. The only miss was by Orlando's Paolo Banchero, who intentionally tried to set up a tying basket with 2.3 seconds remaining.
Markelle Fultz led the Magic with 21 points.
Pelicans 116, Hawks 107: Brandon Ingram scored 30 points, CJ McCollum added 21 and host New Orleans won its third straight game. Jonas Valanciunas, returning from a one-game absence because of a sore right quadriceps, had 16 points and 14 rebounds for New Orleans.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points for Atlanta and Dejounte Murray, who played despite being listed as questionable with a migraine, scored 19.
Grizzlies 104, Bulls 89: Ja Morant scored 34 points with six rebounds and seven assists as host Memphis beat Chicago to snap a three-game losing streak.
Jaren Jackson added 24 points as the Grizzlies outscored the Bulls 32-14 in the fourth quarter to win for only the second time in their past 10 games.
Nikola Vucevic led the Bulls with 28 points and 17 rebounds. Zach Lavine scored 24 points but shot 2-for-7 from long range and 10-for-17 from the freethrow line.
Chicago played without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan because of right hip soreness.