Booker Finishes Just Shy of Triple-Double vs Lakers

by Cody Cunningham

Even after being down by double-digits in the fourth quarter, the Suns showed their resilience and battled back against the Lakers until there was no time left.

The Suns were down by down by 12 and needed someone to step up. Enter Eric Bledsoe.

A driving layup leading to an and-one, followed up by a floater, Bledsoe brought the score to 111-104 with nine minutes remaining. Bledsoe continued this scoring outburst with 16 fourth quarter points to bring his total for the night to 28.

The Suns were down by four with only 10 seconds left and knew exactly what play the wanted to run.

Dragan Bender launched the ball across the court to TJ Warren in the corner. Warren quickly dished it to Devin Booker, who let it fly…swish.

“We practice that play every day, so we knew what was going to happen,” Head Coach Earl Watson said. “We actually practiced that play today and he couldn’t hit it, so I guess he saved it for the game. That was a big shot.”

Booker led the league in buzzer-beaters last season and has never backed down from taking the clutch shot.

“I grew up in the driveway counting down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,” Booker said. “I’ve always put myself in those moments. Even when I’m training in the summer, I imagine myself in those moments so I’m comfortable when I get there.”

The Suns would eventually fall to the Lakers 132-130, but the team’s effort was never in question.

“Our guys, they fought back,” Watson said. “Two free throws away. TJ makes those free throws any other time. The hustle and the fight from all of them, you’ve got to commend them.”

Booker finished just shy of a triple-double with 25 points, 8 assists and a career-high 11 rebounds.

“We have another game tomorrow,” Bledsoe said. “We can’t do anything about this game. We just got to do a better job of leading throughout the whole game.”

The Suns look ahead to Saturday as they gear up to face the Clippers in Los Angeles. Catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.