Suns overtakes Pistons, wins 18th franchise record in a row


PHOENIX – Cam Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 19 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to a record 18th straight win, beating the Detroit Pistons 114-103 on Thursday night.

Johnson and Payne unleashed a stellar effort from the Suns bench, finishing with 48 points. Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Phoenix improved to 19-3 for the season.

Suns coach Monty Williams said of the more than month-long run, “I didn’t talk about any form just because we were so focused on improving. “But it’s really great to be a part of something like that.”

Phoenix won despite being without top scorer Devin Booker for the first time this season. The two-time All-Star player injured his left hamstring in the second half of Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

Seven Suns scored double the number in a balancing attempt. Phoenix has a long shot 54%.

“It’s hard to win this tournament and we’re not pleased but it’s special,” Williams said. “Doing it in front of our fan base, in a special city like this with the history of this franchise is pretty cool and I want our boys to enjoy it.”


Phoenix shot 76% in the second half and led 69-51 after halftime. Payne has 11 points in the second quarter.

The Pistons fought back in the third round on a 17-0 run to get 80-79 after rookie Cade Cunningham’s treble. It looked like Detroit had equalized in the 82nd minute, but Hamidou Diallo’s 3-pointer was said to have arrived after the 24-second clock had expired.

“When we play like that, we can win the game,” said Pistons center Isaiah Stewart.

Phoenix stopped the rally when Payne made two free throws and Landry Shamet hit the three, giving Phoenix a six-point lead from three.

“We go out and just do our job as usual,” Payne said of the bench.

Detroit got five points in the fourth quarter a few times, the last time with 2:57 remaining 104-99 on Saddiq Bey’s 3-pointer, but Jae Crowder connected from behind the arc to keep the Pistons in Chase. Chris Paul finished with 12 points and 12 assists.


The Suns have yet to lose since October 27, when Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer at time-out to win 110-107.

Jerami Grant had 34 points for Detroit, then fell 2-10 on the way. Cunningham – last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick – scored 19 points shooting 8 out of 15.

“We’re going to learn from it,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. “We’ve had some growth.”


Pistons: Kelly Olynyk (left knee strain), Jamorko Pickett (G League – Two Way), Isaiah Livers (G League – On Assignment) and Chris Smith (G League – Two Way) are out.

Suns: The Suns feel Booker’s hamstring injury is minor, but they still expect him to miss a few games. Coach Monty Williams said they will monitor him and see how he improves. … Shamet replaced Booker in the starting line-up and scored 14 points. … F/C Frank Kaminsky (right knee), F Abdel Nader (right knee) and F Dario Saric (right knee) did not compete. … Williams was named NBA Coach of the Month for November. The Suns performed flawlessly for the month, winning all 16 of their games.



Pistons: Host Thunder on Monday.

Suns: Travel to face the Golden State on Friday.


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Huynh Nguyen

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