Rockets end road drought, get win over Suns


Jalen Green recorded 34 points and nine rebounds and the Houston Rockets broke a nine-game road losing streak with a 118-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Fred VanVleet added 24 points and 11 assists and Alperen Sengun had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Houston. Green and VanVleet each made six 3-pointers for the Rockets, who split a two-game set in Phoenix and went 2-1 against the Suns over the past nine days.

Kevin Durant had 30 points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who had a nine-game home winning streak ended.

Phoenix’s Devin Booker scored 24 points but injured his right ankle with 1:15 left. Booker immediately limped off to the locker room.

Royce O’Neal added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Suns, who lost at home for the first time since a Christmas night loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Phoenix big man Jusuf Nurkic (neck) left late in the second quarter after taking an accidental blow from teammate Josh Okogie. He had seven points and 10 rebounds in 17 minutes.

Bradley Beal returned for the Suns after a five-game absence due to a hamstring injury but was ejected in the third quarter. He scored seven points in 20 minutes.

Phoenix shot 45.9 percent from the field, including 9 of 29 from 3-point range.

Houston connected on 43.8 percent of its shots and was 16 of 42 from behind the arc. Jabari Smith Jr. added 14 points and Dillon Brooks had 11.

Houston led 89-79 entering the final stanza before the Suns moved within 99-98 on Okogie’s basket with 6:49 remaining.

A 3-pointer by VanVleet and a ferocious dunk by Green off a lob from VanVleet gave the Rockets a six-point lead with 6:15 to play. Sengun’s putback culminated the 14-4 run as Houston held a 113-102 advantage with four minutes remaining.

Brooks’ basket made it 117-109 with 1:15 left. Booker was hurt on the play when his ankle got mixed up with teammate O’Neale’s foot. Durant was subbed out 12 seconds later as Houston finished off just its third win in its past 12 games.

Green made two 3-pointers during a 7-0 run to increase Houston’s lead to 73-57. The last point was on a technical free throw by VanVleet.

The technical came after a sequence when Beal was preparing to inbound the ball and tapped it on Green’s head and then his face before throwing it in. Green shoved Beal in return and Beal shoved an open hand into Green’s face. Beal was given two technicals and an ejection, and Green received one technical.

Green and VanVleet scored 11 points apiece in the first quarter as the Rockets took a 38-19 lead. It was 54-44 at halftime, with Green scoring 17 points for the Rockets.