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Booker scores 24 points, depleted Suns rout Hornets 133-99

Chris Paul had 16 assists to help the Suns improve to 28-8 — a half-game behind Golden State for the NBA lead.
Credit: AP
Phoenix Suns forward Jalen Smith dunks over Charlotte Hornets center Mason Plumlee during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Devin Booker scored 24 points, Jalen Smith tied a career-high with 19 points and 12 rebounds and the short-handed Phoenix Suns hammered the Charlotte Hornets 133-99.

Chris Paul had 16 assists to help the Suns improve to 28-8 — a half-game behind Golden State for the NBA lead — after they lost three of their previous four. 

The Suns got 11 points and six rebounds from Bismack Biyombo, who signed a 10-day contract Saturday with four Phoenix players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, including starting center Deandre Ayton, starting forward Jae Crowder and backup center JaVale McGee. 

Coach Monty Williams also is out. Shamet added 17 points, and Mikal Bridges had 15. LaMelo Ball had 17 points for the Hornets.

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