PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns finished another white-knuckle win in the final seconds, once again making a comfortable victory much more close than it probably should have been.
It’s a trend that coach Frank Vogel is getting tired of quickly.
Devin Booker scored 32 points, Bradley Beal added 16 in his return from a back injury and the Suns held on late to beat the Golden State Warriors 119-116 on Tuesday night. The Suns nearly blew a nine-point lead in the final 1:30 before recovering.
"Yeah, we’ve got to stop doing that," Vogel said. "It’s getting old ... That being said, we enjoy wins. That’s a good win."
Golden State’s Draymond Green was ejected in the third quarter after receiving a Flagrant 2 foul for hitting Jusuf Nurkic in the face. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 24 points.
The Suns took an 88-87 lead into the fourth after Beal hit a baseline jumper with 1.9 seconds left. Phoenix used a 12-0 run — highlighted by Jordan Goodwin’s steal, pass and then reverse dunk by Booker — to push ahead 109-96 with about four minutes left.
The Warriors trailed 113-104 but rallied to cut the margin to 115-114 with 15 seconds left. Booker responded with two free throws to give the Suns a three-point lead and Curry missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing position.
"We have too many talented guys in this room to be doing that for the third or fourth time," Booker said.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 12: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates with Jusuf Nurkic #20 during the second half of the NBA game against the Golden State Warriors at Footprint Center on December 12, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defe (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Beal followed with two free throws to finally put away the game. The Suns are 3-0 this season against the Warriors.
Booker shot 12 of 23 from the field and added seven assists. Nurkic finished with 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
The third quarter was marred when Green was ejected for the 18th time in his career, most among active NBA players.
Green and Nurkic were battling for position early in the third when the two got tangled. The Golden State forward appeared to slightly lose his balance, but then inexplicably wheeled around and smacked Nurkic in the face.
Nurkic immediately crumpled to the ground but eventually got up and stayed in the game. The referees reviewed the play before calling Green for a Flagrant 2 foul, which causes an automatic ejection.
"That had nothing to do with basketball," Nurkic said. "I’m just out there trying to play basketball."
It’s been less than a month since Green was suspended five games by the NBA for putting Minnesota’s Rudy Gobert into a headlock during an altercation in November.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said he hadn’t seen a replay so didn’t want to comment on the ejection, but he did say losing Green was a big blow.
"Huge swing," Kerr said. "We felt good having him at the 5, spreading the floor. Obviously, that changed the lineup around."
Beal played in just his fourth game of the season and his first since Nov. 12. The three-time All-Star has been dealing with a low back strain since October.
The Suns’ big three of Booker, Beal and 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant still hasn’t played a game together this season. Durant missed his second straight game Tuesday with a left ankle sprain.
Golden State lost despite a huge game from the bench, which combined for 80 points. Brandin Podziemski, Moses Moody, Jonathan Kuminga, Chris Paul and Dario Saric all were in double figures. Podziemski had 20.
Curry hit a 3 with 2.5 seconds left before the break to give the Warriors a 56-53 halftime lead. Curry led Golden State with 16 points in the first half while Booker had 13 for the Suns.
Warriors: Travel to Clippers on Thursday.
Suns: Host Nets on Wednesday.