PHOENIX (AP) — Caris LeVert scored 26 points, D’Angelo Russell added 15 and the Brooklyn Nets beat the struggling Phoenix Suns 104-82 on Tuesday night.
The Nets won their third game in the past four, while the Suns have lost eight of nine.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 20 points but made just 6 of 21 shots. Deandre Ayton had 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
Brooklyn held the Suns to a season low in points and field goal shooting at 34.6 percent.
The Suns went on a 9-0 run to turn a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to 63-58 difference on Trevor Ariza’s corner 3 with 5:31 to play. The Nets regained a 14-point lead, 74-60, with Dinwiddie’s 3 at the 2:18 mark.
Phoenix never threatened in the fourth, the Suns’ cold shooting helping the Nets remain in control. Ed Davis’ dunk made it 92-74 with 4:15 to play.
The Nets’ strategy seemed to be to let the 7-foot-1 Ayton shoot mid-range shots rather than allow him to work inside the paint. It worked for much of the game, as the Suns’ high-profile rookie made just 6 of 17 shots.
Both teams struggled to hit shots in the first quarter, with field goal percentages of less than 40 both ways.
The Nets, up two after one quarter, led by 14 during the second quarter. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s short turnaround bank shot made it 47-34 with 2:53 to go before halftime.
Phoenix got back-to-back 3s from Mikal Bridges and Ariza to cut the lead to 50-42, and the Suns trailed by 10 at the half.
Suns backup center Richaun Holmes had season highs of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Nets: G Jared Dudley returned to Phoenix for the first time since being traded in the offseason. He spent seven seasons over two stints with the Suns. … F DeMarre Carroll has yet to play this season due to a right ankle injury.
Suns: F T.J. Warren returned after missing the team’s last game with back spasms. … Booker entered the game second in the NBA with an average of 9.8 points per game in the fourth quarter. He had four in the final 12 minutes. … G Jamal Crawford moved into 29th place career in games played (1,271).
DUDLEY DOING RIGHT
Dudley, with 11 pro seasons to his credit, has started all 11 games for the Nets this season, and coach Kenny Atkinson said Dudley gets an “A-plus” for leadership. “He’s doing it in the locker room and he is also doing it with his play because he doesn’t need the ball in his hands,” Atkinson said. “He’s going to space the floor and he’s an intelligent defender.”
Nets: At Denver Nuggets on Friday.
Suns: Host the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
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