Booker scores 40, Durant adds 32, Suns improve playoff position with a 122-101 win over Cav 

Phoenix — Kevin Durant scored 32 and Devin Booker scored 40 as the Phoenix Suns defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 122-101 on Wednesday. Suns have won six of their last eight, moving up to No. 6 in a congested Western Conference playoff battle to avoid the play-in tournament.  

After scoring 52 points against New Orleans on Monday, Booker hit 13 of 25 from the floor, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range. Durant scored 13 on 23 with seven assists. “I think it's just the energy throughout our whole team, understanding what's at stake and what time of year it is,” Booker said. “The ball's hopping, we're defending well.”  

This is the second game this season that Booker and Durant have scored 30 or more. Bol Bol scored 15 points off the bench while Royce O'Neale scored 17 with five 3-pointers.  

In recent months, the Suns have made increased use of 7-foot-3 Bol. He played little in the first four months but is averaging seven points per game after the All-Star break, shooting 60% from the field and 43% from 3-point range.  

Durant added, “He’s growing every single time he gets on the floor. “He's a great shotmaker and is learning his job. Building on these performances and improving is key.” Cleveland's Donovan Mitchell played against the Suns one night after resting his ailing left knee that kept him out of March. The five-time All-Star scored 24. Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen contributed 20.  

We must find that consistently," Mobley added. "We had some good things we can pull from, but we need to put it all together." The Suns led 72-47 at halftime after scoring 12 of 18 3-pointers. Before halftime, Booker led with 19 points and Durant 17.  

“The first half, you give up 72 points, it's hard to come back from,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. I was impressed by the second-half effort. I thought we competed better.” Allen's layup midway through the third brought Cleveland to 77-66, but the Suns rallied to lead 98-77 heading into the fourth.

The Suns would avoid the play-in tournament if the season ended today, but they still have work to do. The Mavericks, Suns, Pelicans, Kings, and Lakers, who are in the West's five through nine slots, are separated by two games.  

The Magic and Knicks are right behind the Cavaliers as they strive to defend the Eastern Conference No. 3 seed. Cleveland is 11-15 since Feb. 12. The Suns played without starting guard Grayson Allen, who had left hip pain.  

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