Booker and Warren Combine for 60 in Loss to 76ers

by Cody Cunningham

The last time the Suns faced the 76ers, Devin Booker scored a season-high 46 points in the Suns victory. The 76ers seemed determined to hold Booker from going-off again when the two teams meet in Phoenix on New Years Eve.

The first half was a rough one for the Suns. With constant double-teams and a defensive focus aimed at Booker, the 21-year-old went into halftime with just four points as the Suns trailed 63-49.

“I think if you watch the last time we played this team, Book went off. They weren’t going to let that happen again,” Head Coach Jay Triano said. “Book made the right plays, tried to pass it and play four against three because two guys hit him. We’re going to need to expect that because he’s a great player.”

If there has been one story told about the Suns over and over this season, it’s the resilience of the team especially in the third quarter. The narrative was no different on Sunday.

Booker caught fire scoring 16 points in the third quarter alone. The was his second-highest scoring quarter and his 24th double-digit scoring quarter of this season.

“He’s a three-dimension scorer, which is very rare today in the NBA,” Jared Dudley said about his teammate. “He can score from the block, he can score from pull-up jumpers and the three ball.”

Overall the Suns scored 40 points in the third period and had brought it to within just three entering the fourth.

Despite erasing the 76ers 17-point lead, the Suns couldn’t quite pull off the win as the fourth quarter came to a close. The Suns fell 123-110.

“I credit our guys for getting back in it, but sometimes you use up all that energy,” Triano said.

Booker finished the game with 32 points, six assists and five rebounds. This was his 12th 30-point game of the season and fifth in his last eight games.

Booker said the team’s resolution as 2018 begins is to win games.

“The same resolution as the beginning of the season,” Booker said. “I think we are getting better as the season progresses. We are in a lot more games than we used to be and we are winning some games. So, just keep building on that we keep getting better. We are moving the right direction, for sure.”

The Suns will stay at home as they gear-up to face the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night. Catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.