Devin Booker scored a season-high 44 points in the Phoenix Suns previous game and followed it up with another scoring outburst on Saturday as the team tipped-off against the Houston Rockets.
The Suns were locked-in early as Booker and Dario Šarić led the team on a 16-2 run in the first quarter. The duo scored eight points each in the first, guiding the Suns to a 31-23 lead.
The Suns (50%) were out-shooting Houston (34.6%) from the field, but it didn’t take long for the percentages to begin averaging out. As Rockets began to heat up, the Suns shooting started to slow down and despite some big shots from Kelly Oubre Jr. and Booker near the end of the half, the Rockets outscored the Suns 37-21 in the quarter. Houston took their largest lead of the game into halftime, up 62-52.
The Rockets struck first coming out of the break, but the Suns showed their resilience yet again and battle themselves back into the game. Booker scored 21 points in the third quarter on Thursday and looked to be heating up again as he and the Suns began to close the deficit. The 23-year-old hit a midrange jumper to tie the game at 67 midway through the third, but his biggest moment was still yet to come.
With less than two minutes remaining in the quarter, Booker was fouled driving to the basket and was sent to the line for two. While he made both attempts, the first one came as a historic moment for the franchise. Booker officially passed Hall of Famer Connie Hawkins (6,368 points) for 15th on the Suns’ all-time scoring leaderboard.
Booker scored 12 points in the third quarter as he assisted in keeping the Suns within five entering the final frame. The Suns took off on a 15-2 run that was capped off by an Oubre dunk to the tie the game at 85 apiece. Phoenix went on to tie the game a couple more times, but ultimately were never able to regain the lead as Houston closed it out on their home floor, 114-109.
It was back-to-back 30-plus point games for Booker as he finished the game with 35 points on 11-of-19 shooting. He also tallied 5 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal.
Oubre added 19 points of his own to go along with his 5 rebounds and a block. Šarić battled in the paint all night, notching a double-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists.
Ricky Rubio also had a double-double with 10 points, 13 assists, 6 rebounds and a block. This was the third time in four games that Rubio tallied at least 13 assists. Mikal Bridges was a spark off the bench for the Suns scoring 14 points with 5 rebounds and a steal.
The Suns finished 2-2 on their four-game road trip as they return home to tip-off against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.