Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker left Tuesday’s Game 2 against the Pelicans with an apparent right hamstring injury, according to coach Monty Williams.
Not only did the Suns lose the game 125-114, but they’re unsure about the health status of Booker. He was spectacular in the first half with 31 points (12-for-19 shooting) before suffering a right hamstring strain and left with the injury in the third quarter.
On the possession before he departed, Booker jumped to contest a fastbreak dunk by New Orleans’ Jaxson Hayes, but it wasn’t immediately clear that he was hurt.
The Suns trailed 77-74 with 4 minutes, 35 seconds left in the quarter when he departed. Landry Shamet, who did not play in Game 1 of the series, subbed in for Booker and finished with five points on 2-for-3 shooting in 11 minutes.
Booker returned at the beginning of the fourth quarter wearing warmups and never re-entered the game. He missed multiple games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.
There wasn’t much of an update on Booker’s health or if the injury might keep him out beyond Tuesday. Suns guard Chris Paul said the injury was no excuse for the loss.
“We’ve got guys that are more than capable of stepping up,” Paul said. “Book was killing. He was having a big-time game, but it is what it is.”
The Suns certainly missed Booker in the final quarter, but spotty transition defense throughout the evening was a bigger culprit in the loss.
“That was probably, for us, the worst we have ever looked in transition since I have been here,” Williams said. “For that to happen in a playoff game was a bit unsettling for everybody.
Booker, who will secure some Kia MVP votes this season, was instrumental in top-seeded Phoenix’s 110-99 Game 1 victory, scoring 25 points to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.
Williams added the the team will “know more after the game” as the extent of Booker’s injury.
“If we have to play without Book, next man up and we’ve done that all year long,” Williams said after the game, per Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic.
Game 3 of the series is Friday (9:30 ET, ESPN).
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report