Booker scores 50 in back-to-back games but Suns lose again
By JOSE M. ROMERO
PHOENIX (AP) - Devin Booker became the youngest player in NBA history with consecutive 50-point games, but his latest scoring binge was wasted once again by the last-place Phoenix Suns in a 124-121 loss to the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
Thomas Bryant's three-point play with 2.8 seconds left put Washington ahead for good in a back-and-forth game. Bryant caught Bradley Beal's pass off a baseline drive and dropped in the winning layup while getting fouled. After he added the free throw, Phoenix had one more chance to tie, but Troy Daniels missed a 3-pointer from the corner just before the final buzzer.
The 22-year-old Booker finished with 50 points and 10 rebounds as the Suns, with the worst record in the Western Conference at 17-59, dropped their fifth straight. Booker scored 59 points in a 125-92 loss Monday night at Utah.
It was the first time a Phoenix player reached 50 in back-to-back games. Tom Chambers had been the only member of the Suns to score even 40 in successive games.
Beal and Jabari Parker had 28 points apiece for the Wizards, who snapped a five-game skid. Bryant added 18 points and a career-high 19 rebounds.
The game featured 23 lead changes and neither team led by more than seven points.
Booker scored his 46th point when he missed his initial shot, fell to the floor, got back up to catch the rebound and rattled in a second shot with 5:08 to play. His 50th point came on a layup with 1:30 left, tying the score at 118.
Booker missed a 3 that could have put Phoenix ahead with 48 seconds left, and Bryant drained a 3 at the other end to give the Wizards a 121-118 lead with 28.6 seconds to go.
Jamal Crawford tied it again on a 3 with 17.1 seconds to go before Beal's drive and dish to Bryant for the winner.
Phoenix center Deandre Ayton broke Alvan Adams' franchise record for most double-doubles in a rookie season (37) when he reached double digits in points and rebounds in the third quarter. Ayton finished with 14 points and 10 boards.
Booker's layup and free throw with 0.7 seconds left in the first gave the Suns a 30-27 lead going into the second period. Booker scored 18 points in the opening 12 minutes.
His transition 3 with 44.1 seconds left in the first half gave the Suns a 59-56 lead and gave him 30 first-half points. Washington's Jordan McRae dropped in a layup just before the halftime buzzer, tying it at 59.
The Suns led by five in the third quarter but needed Dragan Bender's corner 3 at the buzzer to take a 90-89 lead into the fourth.
GREEN MEANS GO
Wizards forward Jeff Green made the hustle play of the night in the second quarter, tip-toeing along the sideline to keep a loose ball from going out of bounds, then continuing to run the floor after passing the ball. He got a return pass from Parker and dunked hard over Bender, causing teammates to leap off the bench in celebration.
Wizards: Washington (31-45) avoided being eliminated from playoff contention. ... McRae, who spent seven games with the Suns in 2015-16, had a career-high 21 points. ... Trevor Ariza sat out against his former team with a strained left groin.
Suns: F Josh Jackson missed his third straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... F Kelly Oubre Jr. didn't get to face his former team because of a thumb injury that required surgery and will sideline him for the rest of the season. ... G Jimmer Fredette didn't play in what could have been his home debut, five days and two road games after signing with Phoenix.
Wizards: At the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
Suns: Host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
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