First 15 points of game help Suns beat Timberwolves 97-87.

Phoenix — Grayson Allen scored 23 points, Kevin Durant 22 and the Phoenix Suns led 15-0 in a 97-87 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

Bradley Beal scored 14 for the Suns, who have won four consecutive home games. Devin Booker scored 13 points and 13 assists after 52 and 40 points. The Suns led 94-72 with 4:02 left after his only 3-pointer. Jusuf Nurkic, a left calf injury game-time decision, had 11 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists in 26 minutes.

It was the Suns' fourth game below 100 points, but their first win. “This was one of our best communication games of the season,” Allen said of the Suns' defense. “Just great overall.” All five Suns starters scored in the 15-0 run, with Beal dunking. Minnesota scored when Mike Conley sank two free throws at 7:35.  

Eight turnovers in the first quarter. We fought the game all the way, said Timberwolves coach Chris Finch. We missed easy passes and didn't finish at the rim. A complete offensive breakdown.” We've been playing better offensively, so we have to finish some of the opportunities we created and give these guys more solutions.  

The Suns led 32-20 in the first quarter, 57-41 at halftime, and were never in danger after that, despite Minnesota scored the final 13 points. Phoenix (46-31) maintained Western Conference No. 6. Denver and Minnesota (53-24) share the West lead.  

Anthony Edwards shot 6/19 for 17 points. Durant mostly covered the All-Star guard. “He’s tough. Edwards moves smoothly, Durant said. We forced tough shots, kept him off the free-throw line, and ran.” Nickell Alexander-Walker finished with 13 points, the only other Timberwolf in double figures. Naz Reid grabbed 11 rebounds.  

Minnesota had 19 turnovers and Phoenix 18. Suns got 24 points from Timberwolves blunders. Suns won the previous matchup 133-115 in Phoenix on Nov. 15, the Timberwolves' most points allowed this season. The Timberwolves' 87 points were their lowest of the season and the Suns' fewest.  

“We just keep improving,” said Suns coach Frank Vogel. “We want to be great defense, not good. Men reacted. (Nurkic) has evolved as a rim defender this season, blocking everything coming to the basket and trusting his teammates to attack.”  

The Timberwolves believe Karl-Anthony Towns (left meniscus injury) to return before the season's finale. His last game was March 4. Each club has five games left after tonight. On April 14, Minneapolis hosts the season finale.  

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