The Brooklyn Nets clinched a hard-fought 116-112 victory against the Phoenix Suns, overshadowing the much-anticipated debut of the Suns' All-Star trio. Cam Thomas led the charge for the Nets with 24 points, closely followed by Mikal Bridges, who added 21 points in his return to Phoenix.
This win marks the Nets' seventh in their last nine games, highlighting their steady ascent in form. The Suns, showcasing Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal together for the first time this season, rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to lead 88-86 heading into the final quarter.
However, the Brooklyn Nets regained control in the fourth, maintaining a slender but decisive lead. Key contributions came from Spencer Dinwiddie, who scored a crucial three-pointer and a layup in the closing minutes, ending the game with 16 points.
Suns' Comeback Falls Short Despite Star Efforts
Despite the Suns' best efforts, which saw them narrow the gap to just two points with 28 seconds left, Thomas' two free throws in the final seconds ensured the Nets' victory.
Thomas was particularly instrumental in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his total points. The Suns' star-studded lineup, playing together for the first time in the season's 24th game, brought high expectations. Devin Booker shone with 34 points and 12 assists, while Durant added 27 points.
Beal, hindered by a sore back limiting his season appearances, contributed 14 points. Jusuf Nurkic also made a significant impact with 15 points and a season-high 22 rebounds. The first half saw the Nets establish a dominant position, leading by as much as 15 points, and entered halftime with a 64-56 lead.
Cam Johnson was a standout performer for the Nets, scoring 15 points, including three 3-pointers, before the break. The game also marked a poignant return for Bridges and Johnson, who were traded from the Suns to the Nets as part of the deal that brought Durant to Phoenix.
Both players, crucial to the Suns' 2021 Finals run, were warmly received by the fans with a tribute video before the game, a testament to their lasting impact and popularity in Phoenix.