Booker Moves Into 13th on Suns All-Time Scoring List vs Rockets
The Phoenix Suns and the Houston Rockets battled against each other just a few weeks ago as the game came down to the wire, but the Rockets ultimately took the victory. The Suns looked to even out the series as the two teams tipped-off on Saturday in Phoenix.
The Suns were without Deandre Ayton (right ankle sprain) and Ricky Rubio (illness) as Elie Okobo and Aron Baynes joined the starting unit alongside Devin Booker, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dario Šarić.
Both teams were scorching hot coming out of the gates, shooting a combined 65.1 percent (28-43) from the field in the first quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. (12 points) and James Harden (18 points) led their teams’ offensive showcases as the Rockets held a narrow 36-35 lead after one.
The Rockets took off on a 11-0 run early in the second quarter to extend their lead to double-digits. However, the Suns followed this up with a run of their own, as Okobo and Baynes assisted in cutting the deficit back to just one point. Both teams scored 30-plus points for a second-straight quarter as the Rockets held a 70-65 lead at halftime.
During the second quarter, Booker passed former teammate Leandro Barbosa (6,443 points) to move into 13th on the Suns all-time scoring list. But 23-year-old’s biggest impact in the first half wasn’t his scoring, it was his playmaking as he dished out a career-high 9 assists in a half.
While the Rockets maintained their lead throughout the third quarter, Cam Johnson knocked down two triples in the final two minutes to keep the Suns within striking distance. But Rockets’ Gary Clark responded with a three-pointer of his own in the final second as the Suns trailed 106-95 entering the fourth.
Although the Suns never let the Rockets lead grow much more, the team wasn’t able to overcome the absence of their starting point guard and center as they fell to the Rockets 139-125.
Oubre: 26 points, 10-16 FG, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block
Booker: 19 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds
Okobo: 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal
Jerome: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Baynes: 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
Kaminsky: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING:
BOOKER ON PASSING BARBOSA: “I won’t say anything to him. He has a lot more history in this jersey than I do. I’m still chasing goals, still chasing dreams and I’m happy to be a part of this organization and be down in the history books in this organization.”
ELIE ON HIS FIRST START OF SEASON: “Ricky wasn’t playing tonight. I tried to bring the same energy he’s bringing every night and push the pace…Just try to be aggressive and bring something to the team.”
The Suns will look to bounce back when the Denver Nuggets come to town on Monday. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.