Devin Booker Scores 27 Points in Suns Battle with Jazz
The Phoenix Suns were winners of three straight at home as they welcomed the Utah Jazz to The Valley on Wednesday night.
The Suns were one of the hottest teams in the league, knocking off both conference leaders in the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors last week and looked to continue that momentum into their matchup against the Jazz.
Devin Booker got things started, splashing home a three-pointer as the Suns struck first. Booker finished the first quarter with three free throws, giving the Suns a two-point advantage at the end of one.
Utah’s Jae Crowder began heating up midway through the second as he scored five straight points for the Jazz and began extending their lead. By the end of the half, the Suns trailed 53-43, but this team is no stranger to comebacks.
The Suns overcame 16-point deficits in both wins over the Bucks and Warriors and looked to show their resilience again entering the second half.
Tyler Johnson and Kelly Oubre Jr. teamed up with Booker as the Suns caught fire coming out of halftime. The trio went one a 17-7 run against the Jazz and brought their deficit to within just two points.
With 30 seconds remaining in the third, Booker returned to the free throw line, converted both shots and tied the game at 75 apiece.
Unfortunately, this was followed up by a Joe Ingles three-pointer that seemed to push the momentum back in the favor of the Jazz as the quarter expired.
Utah never looked back from there as they slowly extended their lead throughout the fourth quarter. The Suns home streak came to an end as the Jazz closed out the game, defeating the Suns 114-97.
“(We) started off like a team that really wanted to go out and get a win,” Johnson said. “I don’t think that that changed but I think there was just a little bit of a loss of attention to detail down the stretch.”
Booker scored a game-high 27 points to go along with his six assists and four rebounds. After the game Booker said it’s important for the team to learn from tonight and look to finish the final month of the season the right way.
“Obviously you’re not going to win every game, but you go out there every night and you have to compete at the highest level,” Booker said. “It’s an 82-game grind and we’re a month away from the season being over so we have to finish this thing the right way.”
Oubre (18 points) and Johnson (15 points) played critical roles for the Suns during their third quarter run. Mikal Bridges (nine points, three steals) and Richaun Holmes (11 points, two steals, one block) each made their presence known on both sides of the court.
“We’ve had a pretty good stretch in our previous games and we have to keep building on that,” Booker said. “We’re going to have blocks in the road but just have to keep going.”
The Suns will look to bounce back from this loss as they travel to Houston to face the Rockets on Friday. Be sure to catch the action on Fox Sports Arizona.