Booker & Oubre Combine for 72 in Overtime Victory vs Pelicans

by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns battled it out in an overtime thriller on Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

It was a hot start for both Kelly Oubre Jr. and Devin Booker as the duo looked poised for a big night. The newly-headbanded Oubre scored the first five points for the Suns and Booker followed that up scoring seven straight of his own.

By the end of the first, Booker already had 14 points and four assists and the Suns held a 34-31 lead. The team locked down defensively in the second quarter, holding the Pelicans without a field goal for more than six minutes as the Suns extended their lead to 13.

The Pelicans battled back, but a combined 37 points from Booker and Oubre at halftime had the Suns entering intermission with a six-point advantage.

Fast forward to the fourth and the Suns found themselves down by two with only three minutes remaining in the game. The team once again placed the ball in one of their hot hands as they found Oubre beyond the arc.

The man known as Tsunami Papi splashed home a three-pointer to give the Suns the lead while also reaching a career-high 30 points on that basket.

The Suns then turned to their other hot hand as Booker scored the final six points in regulation, including a game-tying layup with 18 seconds remaining. Booker scored his 36th point on that bucket as he sent the game to overtime while also making Suns history.

This was Booker’s 9th career game with at least 35 points, five rebounds and five assists. He passed Gail Goodrich for the most ever in franchise history… and yes, he’s only 22 years old.

OVERTIME.

Booker picked up right where he left off in regulation, as he splashed home a three-pointer to get things started for the Suns in extra time. But the Pelicans began to heat up and with just six seconds remaining, the Suns found themselves down by three and in need of a clutch basket.

Enter Josh Jackson.

Jackson inbounded the ball to Booker who quickly took it past half court before being surrounded by a double team. With the clock ticking down, Booker found Jackson in motion sprinting up the court.

And despite a man in his face, Jackson pulled up from long range… SWISH. TIE.

With only one second left on the clock, it looked as if the game would head into another overtime, but New Orleans called a timeout – despite not having any remaining.

This resulted in a technical foul, giving the Suns a chance to take the lead at the free throw line.

Booker already had 39 points as he stepped up to the charity stripe. He drained the attempt, notched 40 points and sealed the victory for his team. The Suns defeated the Pelicans 138-136.

This was Booker’s second 40-point game of the season and his eighth double-double as he dished out 13 assists with five rebounds in the victory. Booker also passed Charles Barkley for the sixth most 30-point games in Suns history.

New Orleans native Oubre scored a career-high 32 points to go along with his six rebounds, two assists and two steals in his hometown.

“It was a hard fought game, Oubre said. “We have to take advantage of any opportunity we get. Coming back home, this was very special for me. I haven’t won here this year. So to get a win with these guys is very special.”

While dealing with opposing crowds isn’t always easy, his homecoming allowed for some “Tsunami Papi” support in the building.

“All my family was here,” Oubre said. “I heard them loud and proud in the stands and so I just wanted to put on a show for them obviously and get the win for my team.”

Jackson played a critical role for the Suns off the bench as he finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, a block and, of course, the biggest shot of the game.

“Without him we wouldn’t be here right now,” Oubre said about Jackson. “He’s also shooting 50 percent in the month of March. People don’t know that so they better put some respect on his name and get a hand up and close him out. If you do that, he can go dunk on you too so pick your poison.”

The Suns will look to build off this win as they return home on Monday to face the Chicago Bulls. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.