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Suns snap 5-game skid with 111-95 win over depleted Clippers


LOS ANGELES — – Mikal Bridges scored 27 points, Chris Paul added 15 points and 13 assists and the Phoenix Suns snapped a five-game losing streak with a 111-95 victory over the depleted Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.

Devin Booker scored 14 points in his return from a two-game absence with a hamstring injury for the Suns, whose longest skid in three years ended with a blowout of a Clippers lineup missing most of its important players. Phoenix took a 27-point lead in the first half and maintained a comfortable double-digit margin while closing out just its second win in eight games in December.

Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Norman Powell, Reggie Jackson and Ivica Zubac didn’t play, leaving Los Angeles without its top three scorers, four of its starters Wednesday in a victory over Minnesota, and five regular rotation players averaging a combined 74.5 points and 28.4 rebounds per game.

The Suns also were depleted: Deandre Ayton couldn’t play after injuring his ankle in the first half of Phoenix’s loss at Houston on Tuesday, and Cameron Payne sat out with a foot injury that incurred in the same game.

Booker struggled with his shot from all ranges, going 6 for 22 and missing eight of his nine 3-point attempts, but Bridges rebounded from a 4-for-24 shooting performance against the Rockets with an 11-for-18 outing.

Phoenix beat the Clippers on the road for the second time this season after a 112-95 victory on Oct. 23 in which Leonard and George both played.

Terance Mann scored a season-high 22 points for the Clippers, whose three-game winning streak ended. John Wall had 12 points and five assists in his second start for the Clippers after sitting out Wednesday’s game with knee soreness.

Leonard sat out for the 21st time in 31 games this season to rest his surgically repaired right knee. George sat for the ninth time this season, citing left knee soreness after playing in Los Angeles’ previous six games.

Without their high-priced dynamic duo, the Clippers couldn’t come close to the standard they set in their two home games over the previous three days, beating the NBA-leading Boston Celtics and the Timberwolves.

TIP-INS

Suns: Bismack Biyombo had five points, five rebounds and five fouls while starting in place of Ayton. … Cameron Johnson missed his 21st straight game while recovering from knee surgery. … Jock Landale had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Clippers: Zubac left Wednesday’s game with left knee pain. … Powell hasn’t played since November due to a groin injury. … Jackson, who has been dealing with a left Achilles injury, sat out for the second time in four games.

UP NEXT

Suns: Host New Orleans on Saturday night

Clippers: Host Washington on Saturday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP–Sports





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