By DAVID BRANDT
The Rockets, who dropped to 1-6, never led in the game but also never fell too far behind. They threatened to push ahead a few times, even briefly tying it at 86 when Usman Garuba hit a corner 3-pointer.
Landry Shamet rattled home a 3-pointer to give the Suns a 90-86 advantage going into the fourth. The Suns (5-1) stayed in control from there, with Johnson and Mikal Bridges each hitting 3-pointers to push the advantage to 117-102.
Booker shot 14 of 24 from the field on his 26th birthday, while fellow All-Star Chris Paul added a season-high 15 assists. The Suns have beaten the Rockets nine straight times dating back to 2019 and they won their 54th straight game when holding an opponent under 110 points.
Kevin Porter Jr. led the Rockets with 26 points. Alperen Sengun added 16 points and nine rebounds.
Booker scored 21 points in the first half on 10-of-16 shooting, pushing the Suns to a 65-56 advantage. Jock Landale scored all of his 16 points before the break.
Rockets: F Bruno Fernando (left knee soreness), G Eric Gordon (right groin) and G TyTy Washington (left knee sprain) did not play. … Porter and Garrison Mathews got technicals on the same play early in the fourth quarter after an altercation with Phoenix‘s Damion Lee. … Had a 49-36 rebounding advantage.
Suns: C Deandre Ayton (left ankle sprain) missed his first game of the season. Coach Monty Williams said the fifth-year player will be out at least a week and then be reevaluated. … Had 30th straight sellout, dating to last season.
Rockets: At Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Suns: Host Minnesota on Tuesday night.
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