DETROIT (AP) — Deandre Ayton had 31 points and 16 rebounds to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Detroit Pistons 116-100 on Saturday night.
The surging Sungs have won eight of 10 games, including a victory at Boston on Friday night, and have help on the way with Devin Booker nearing his return. The three-time All-Star guard has been out since Christmas with a groin injury, but dunked in warmups in another sign that he’s close to coming back.
Phoenix started each half strong, leading 13-3 in the opening minutes and scoring the first eight points after halftime, to take and keep control against Detroit.
Chris Paul had 14 assists for a balanced offense that didn’t need him to make shots, finishing 0 for 7 and without a field goal for the first time since March 18, 2017, when he helped the Los Angeles Clippers beat Cleveland by 30 points.
Mikal Bridges scored 24 points, Cameron Johnson had 20 points and Torrey Craig added 14 points for Phoenix.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points for the Pistons, who are vying with Houston to have the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft and a shot to select 7-foot-3 French phenom Victor Wembanyama.
Detroit reserve Saddiq Bey had 25 points, Isaiah Stewart had 17 points and nine rebounds while rookie Jaden Ivey added 13 points and six assists.
Suns: Incoming team owner Mat Ishbia, who lives in suburban Detroit, was courtside in his usual seats near the visitors’ bench at Little Caesars Arena with his three children wearing Suns gear. The former Michigan State walk-on guard agreed to purchase the Suns and Phoenix Mercury for $4 billion in December, and sale is still in the process of being completed.
Pistons: Stewart missed all five of his 3-pointers in the first half, extending his streak without a make beyond the arc to 18 shots over seven-plus games. The power forward made all three of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter to end the drought.
Suns: At Brooklyn on Tuesday night in middle of five-game trip.
Pistons: Host Boston on Monday night.