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Phoenix Suns

Suns hope stars continue to build chemistry vs. Magic



The Phoenix Suns finally won a game where Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal played together.


The Phoenix “Big Three” will go after another victory on Sunday evening when the Suns play host to the Orlando Magic to close out 2023.


The offseason acquisition of Beal was designed to give Phoenix a high-powered scoring trio.

But primarily due to back and ankle injuries to Beal, the three stars played together Friday for just the third time this season in 31 games.




Phoenix lost at home to the Brooklyn Nets on Dec. 13 when all three were available.

Then Beal injured his ankle in the opening minutes against the New York Knicks two nights later and missed the next five games.


On Friday, Booker had 35 points and seven assists and Durant added 21 points and 11 assists as the Suns defeated the visiting Charlotte Hornets 133-119.


Beal contributed six points and seven assists in 30 minutes.


“It’s just good to be back on the floor,” Beal said.

“We got the win and finished the game, that’s all I cared about.”


Phoenix will hope the threesome can play an extended stretch of games together.

The Suns have won their past two games to move above .500 but have been major underachievers so far this season.



Phoenix lost nine of 12 games before the consecutive victories.


Booker and Durant were encouraged after the win over the Hornets.


“It’s a game-changer, being at full strength,” Booker said afterward. “The offense was moving, the ball was hopping around and we were getting the best available shot.”


Durant said the Suns were able to disguise their intentions with all three players on the floor.


“I think we were just unpredictable,” Durant said. “They didn’t know where the attack was coming from.

I think we drove and kicked and found the extra pass on the back side pretty easily.

When we got the defense scrambling like that, we’re always at an advantage. When we make two, three passes and everybody touches the ball, that’s the essence of basketball.”



Orlando has been surprisingly good this season and is looking to reach the 20-win mark in just its 32nd game.

The Magic have won three of their past four games as they open a four-game road trip that includes games against the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets.


Orlando notched a 117-108 home win over the New York Knicks on Friday as Franz Wagner recorded season highs of 32 points and nine rebounds and Paolo Banchero added 29 points and 10 rebounds.


“Proud of how we played and, hopefully, we can take it to the West,” Banchero said of the road excursion.


A key component in the victory over the Knicks was the play of rookie guard Anthony Black.



The 6-foot-7 Black is a tenacious defender and he hounded New York star Jalen Brunson into a 4-of-15 shooting night. Brunson missed all four 3-point attempts while scoring 20 points.


“Special. He’s a special individual,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said of Black. “He loves to sit down, play defense and guard the right way.

I think he did a heck of a job on Jalen Brunson. Jalen Suggs did a great job on Jalen Brunson.


“But the other thing is it was a team effort. We changed up the looks, made it tough (on Brunson) throughout the night. So, it’s a team effort, but A.B. did a heck of a job initially.”


Orlando had just nine available players against New York but center Wendell Carter Jr. (knee), guard Gary Harris (calf) and forward Jonathan Isaac (hamstring) all have a chance to return against Phoenix.

Carter missed the game against New York, Harris has missed the past two games and Isaac has missed three straight games.



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