PHOENIX — Cam Johnson and Cameron Payne both scored 19 points to lead the Phoenix Suns to their franchise-record 18th win in a row, beating the Detroit Pistons, 114-103, on Thursday night.
Johnson and Payne sparked a stellar effort from the Suns bench, which finished with 48 points. Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 12 rebounds as Phoenix improved to 19-3 for the season.
Phoenix won despite not having leading scorer Devin Booker for the first time this season. The two-time All-Star suffered a left hamstring injury in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
Phoenix shot 76 percent in the second quarter and led 69-51 by halftime. Payne had 11 points in the second quarter.
The Pistons fought back in the third on a 17-0 run to get within 80-79 after a 3-pointer by rookie Cade Cunningham. It appeared that Detroit tied it at 82 moments later, but a 3-point shot by Hamidou Diallo was ruled to have come after the 24-second clock expired.
Phoenix stopped the rally when Payne hit two free throws and Landry Shamet made a 3, enabling Phoenix to take a six-point lead after three.Cameron Johnson drives to the basket during the Suns’ 114-113 win over the Pistons.AP
Detroit did get within five points in the fourth quarter a few times, the last with 2:57 remaining at 104-99 on Saddiq Bey’s 3-pointer, but Jae Crowder connected from behind the arc to keep the Pistons chasing.
The Suns have not lost since Oct. 27, when Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes hit a 3-pointer as time ran out for a 110-107 victory.
Jerami Grant had 34 points for Detroit, which fell to 2-10 on the road. Cunningham — last year’s No. 1-overall draft pick — scored 19 points on 8 of 15 shooting.