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Booker back in NBA-leading Suns rout

Devin Booker has scored 16 points in his return to Phoenix’s line-up and the NBA-leading Suns set a season-scoring high in a 137-106 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

After missing seven games because of a hamstring injury, Booker played 26 minutes, and sat out the fourth quarter with Phoenix well ahead. The Suns improved to 24-5, moving a half-game ahead of the Golden State Warriors.

Phoenix had nine players score in double figures and were 20-of-41 on three-pointers and shot 56.8 per cent overall.

The Suns, who have won 14 straight at home after losing their first two, scored a season-high 39 points in the third quarter.

In Chicago, DeMar DeRozan scored 19 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth period and Nikola Vucevic registered a double-double (19 points, 13 rebounds) to boost the Bulls to a 115-110 win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James kept the Lakers afloat with 31 points and 14 rebounds and Russell Westbrook narrowly missed a triple-double, collecting 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Jock Landale has taken further strides at the San Antonio Spurs, the Australian the first forward used off the bench by coach Gregg Popovich in a 121-114 loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Last season’s NBL finals MVP with Melbourne United scored seven points and added two rebounds and a steal in 11 minutes, draining his only three-point attempt and making all four free throws.

After earning a maiden NBA contract, Landale battled early-season injuries and missed about two weeks when placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

The Olympic bronze medallist had seen just 24 minutes in eight brief appearances before he was assigned to the Spurs’ G League affiliate Austin last week.

He dominated there with 26 points on 12-of-14 shooting and has been deployed in all four NBA games since, the Spurs at least 10 points better off with him on the court in three of those.

Elsewhere, Damian Lillard scored 32 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat Memphis 105-100, Saddiq Bey had 26 points and the Detroit Pistons defeated the Miami Heat 100-90 to snap their losing streak at a franchise record-tying 14 games, and Karl Anthony Towns led the Minnesota Timberwolves with 24 points in the 111-105 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

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