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Phoenix sweeps season series as Rockets fall to Suns

A record-setting night for the Suns resulted in the Houston Rockets extending their losing streak to three.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Phoenix Suns Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Despite once trailing the Phoenix Suns by as many as 24 points, the Houston Rockets fought hard in an attempt to stage an improbable second-half comeback. Houston outscored Phoenix 62-45 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Rockets sustained a 126-120 loss to the Suns, Monday Night, inside Phoenix Suns Arena.

With the loss, the Rockets dropped their third consecutive game, with the Suns sweeping their three-game season series. Phoenix’s win marked the first time since 2010 the Suns swept their regular-season series against the Rockets.

Despite the loss, Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. had their best performances of the season as a duo. Wood scored a team-high 25 points (10-15 FG, 3-5 3PT) and pulled down 15 rebounds, while Porter recorded 22 points (7-15 FG, 3-8 3PT) and dished 14 assists with two steals.

“It was good to see the fight in our group. To show our competitiveness and willingness not to give up is big. We have a lot of fight in us. And we have a lot of character. I am proud of that.” — Stephen Silas

In just his second game as a member of the Rockets, Armoni Brooks gave Houston new life late in the second half.

Brooks entered the game for Kelly Olynyk with 2:26 left in the third quarter with the Rockets trailing 99-83 to the Suns. The University of Houston prodigy erupted for 14 points in 14 minutes, connecting on four of his five shots from the outside. With Brooks in the game, the Rockets cut their once substantial deficit down to six.

It’s not too often that an NBA team can shoot 50.6 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from deep and still come up on the losing end. But the Suns’ hot shooting to begin the night is what ultimately dropped the Rockets’ record to 14-40 on the season.

Jae Crowder set the tone for a record-breaking 3-point shooting night for the Suns. He connected on eight out of his nine shots from behind the arc in the first half, as Phoenix shot 75.0 percent from deep. Behind Crowder’s 26 first-half points, the Suns took an 81-58 lead into the halftime break.

After connecting on an NBA All-Time best 19 3’s in the first half, the Suns concluded the game with a franchise-high 25 triples in the win. Devin Booker added in 24 points, while DeAndre Ayton scored 18. Chris Paul only made two of his eight baskets, but dished 10 assists for Phoenix.

“We are a resilient team. We have a lot of guys who are going to fight. At halftime, our message was to communicate and be better in the second half. And we did that...We still did not come out with the win. And I don’t believe in moral victories.” — Christian Wood

Following the loss, the Rockets will try to end their three-game losing streak on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers. Tip-off is slated for 8:00 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.