Booker stars as Suns scorch Sixers

NEW YORK: Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored 40 points to lead the Suns over visiting Philadelphia 114-109 on Monday, delivering the first loss of the season to the NBA’s last unbeaten team.
Spanish guard Ricky Rubio added 21 points and 10 assists for the Suns while Phoenix poured in 23 points off 20 Philadelphia turnovers.
Booker, who turned 23 last week, became the eighth-youngest player in NBA history to crack the 6,000 career points mark. The fifth-season guard was greeted by chants of “M-V-P” for Most Valuable Player as he walked off the court.
The Suns, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, improved to 5-2 while the 76ers slid to 5-1. It took Phoenix 29 games last season to reach a fifth victory. “You can play with anybody in the freaking league,” Suns coach Monty Williams told his team after the game. “Great job guys.”
Al Horford led the 76ers with 32 points while Tobias Harris added 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The Sixers played without Cameroon star big man Joel Embiid, who was serving the second game of a two-game ban after a brawl with Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, also suspended for two games.
Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 34 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to power Milwaukee over host Minnesota 134-106 after a 49-minute delay at the start to fix a faulty basket.
Khris Middleton added 26 points and Eric Bledsoe 22 for the Bucks (5-2) while Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota (4-2) for 25 points. Houston’s James Harden and Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving had big nights in wins.
One night after an embarrassing 29-point loss at Miami, the Houston Rockets bounced back to beat host Memphis 107-100 behind NBA scoring leader Harden’s 44 points on 12-of-28 shooting and 10 rebounds in a game where Russell Westbrook was benched for a rest.
It was Harden’s 80th career game with 40 or more points.
Irving scored 39 points on 13-of-21 shooting and added nine assists to lead the Brooklyn Nets over visiting New Orleans 135-125.
“This is my playground out here,” Irving said. “I just love to be playing basketball and playing aggressive.”
A 14-6 run to end the game lifted the Nets over the Pelicans, who were led by Brandon Ingram’s career-high 40 points on 17-of-24 shooting.
Caris LeVert added 23 points, Joe Harris scored 19 and Jarrett Allen had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who improved to 3-4 ahead of a five-game road trip. “It was very important,” Irving said of the win. “Especially the way we’ve been playing. We’ve got to continue to get better. Just be patient, we’ll get there.”
Warriors win
Rookie forward Eric Paschall scored 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds on his 23rd birthday to lead injury-hit Golden State over Portland 127-118 for the Warriors’ first win at their new $1 billion home arena in San Francisco. — AFP