Devin Booker Scores 26 Points as Suns Fall to Pistons

by Cody Cunningham

QUICK RECAP:

Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton both went to work early, combining for 34 points at halftime as the Phoenix Suns held a two-point lead over the Detroit Pistons. Despite losing the third quarter 29-20, the Suns brought it to within just a five points early in the fourth. The Pistons then caught fire and went on a 17-2 run to open up a 20-point lead before ultimately defeating the Suns 118-98.

KEY PERFORMERS

Devin Booker: 26 points, five rebounds, two assists, three steals

Deandre Ayton: 20 points (9-of-12 shooting), eight rebounds

Mikal Bridges: 13 points, seven assists, three rebounds, one steal

Richaun Homes: 10 points, five rebounds, two blocks, two steals

STAT OF THE GAME

This is Ayton’s second time this season scoring 20-plus points on at least 70 percent shooting in consecutive games (also did so in two straight from Oct. 24-27). Prior to Ayton doing so twice this season, in the last 10 seasons combined there had only been two such streaks of an NBA rookie scoring 20-plus on at least 70 percent shooting (once each by Ben Simmons and Karl-Anthony Towns) according to Basketball Reference.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

HEAD COACH IGOR KOKOSKOV ON BOOKER: “He cares. He cares about the team, he cares about winning, he cares about the fans who come in here to support the team and cheer for this group, cheer for the Suns, so that’s where he’s coming from. He’s competitive, we know that. He’s trying to win.”

BOOKER ON SEVERAL TEAMMATES INJURED: “It’s tough, but it’s part of the NBA. It’s going to happen. Obviously we were on a nice run with a lot of the guys that are injured right now, but it’s a new opportunity for a lot of players and I hope they take advantage of it. Me being a leader, it’s my job to voice that to them, that opportunities don’t always come like that in the NBA. I’m a product of it, I got a chance when I was a rookie, and I didn’t want to look back. So I hope everybody has that same mindset moving forward.”

INJURY UPDATE

Josh Jackson exited the game in the third quarter with a right ankle sprain and did not return.

Tyler Johnson (sore right knee), Kelly Oubre Jr. (left thumb sprain) and T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness) were all out.

Richaun Holmes returned to action following his right quad strain.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Suns will hit the road as they travel to Sacramento to tip-off against the Kings on Saturday. Be sure to tune-in on Fox Sports Arizona.

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