Suns’ Booker on 10k points: ‘This one means a lot’

The Suns(27-7) ended their four-game homestand with a victory as they knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder(12-22) 115-97 to snap their two game losing streak Wednesday night at Footprint Center.

Phoenix took an 85-81 lead into the fourth. With just under ten minutes left, Phoenix led 92-87, and they would go on a 16-6 run to go up by 15 and take complete control of the game.

Devin Booker tied a season-high with 38 points(23 in the first half), including six threes to go along with seven rebounds, five assists, and two block shots. JaVale McGee added 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Cameron Payne chipped in with 16 points and seven assists off the bench. 

Booker also made a little history in the first quarter. He became the seventh youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,ooo points(25 years, 60 days today), trailing only LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Tracy McGrady, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“Honestly, this one means a lot,” Booker said. “I think 10k is better than five, six, seven(thousand). I feel like it’s a real milestone that I hit. If (Jeff) Hornacek(former coach) would have put me in a little more, I should be at 12(thousand) right now. I’m messing around…

“I got to be thrown into the fire, and even my vets, my teammates, just passing the ball to an 18-year-old. That’s not easy to do; that’s not common in the NBA.”

Suns associate head coach Kevin Young, who coached his second game in place of Williams, added this about Booker: “Every shot he shoots, he thinks it’s going in, and he’s still able to do it within the confines of the team. He made some huge shots tonight, and to be able make some big shots and hit that milestone; it’s just what he does.”

As a 19-year-old rookie, Booker averaged 13.8 points per game. Since then, Booker has averaged over 20 points in every season, including a career-best tying 26.6 per contest in 2020. 

In 27 games this season, the two-time All-Star is averaging 23.7 points and has put up 30 or more points in three out of the last four games.

Warriors’ Porter: ‘I was able to step in and knock some shots down’

The two best teams in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns faced off on Christmas Day at Footprint Center, and the game lived up to the hype.

Steph Curry scored 10 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth, while Otto Porter added 13 of his 19 points in the final period as the Warriors would pick up a second-straight win over the Suns 116-107.

The Warriors(27-6) now have the best record in the NBA and lead the season series 2-1.

Down the stretch, it became the Otto Porter show for the Warriors. With Golden State leading 104-99 with just over five minutes to go, Porter scored 10 of the Warriors’ final 12 points. 

Without Andrew Wiggins(health/safety), Jordan Poole(health/safety), and Klay Thompson(Achilles), Porter stepped up, and the Warriors got a big win on Christmas Day.

“Coach(Steve Kerr) drew up a couple of plays that freed me open, and my teammates did a good job of finding me,” Porter said, who also added six rebounds and three assists. “I was able to step in and knock some shots down, and they kept finding me, so I kind of got into a rhythm.”

Suns’ Christ Paul, who had a team-high 21 points to go along with eight assists, and six rebounds, added on Porter: ‘He hit big shots down the stretch. He damn-near was a max player in this league at one point.”

For the Phoenix Suns(26-6), their 15-game home winning streak is now over, and the sentiment on their side was that the Warriors wanted it more.

“They created those breaks. They played harder than us,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “It’s rare when I say that about our team. They outworked us more consistently for 50-50 balls, timely offensive rebounds, diving out of bounds to save balls.”

Devin Booker, who had 13 points against Golden State, added: “They wanted it more, and they played like it. We just have to take this loss and move on to our next game.”

It appears these two teams will battle it out the rest of the way for supremacy in the West and the NBA. It would also appear that the Warriors could have the advantage as they will get back Klay Thompson and James Wiseman at some point.

Because of their great start, we forget the Golden State Warriors are not whole, so this team could be even more formidable when they get everybody back.

Watch below as Porter talks big win over Suns on Christmas Day:

Suns’ Ayton: ‘I feel like I should thank the NBA for gifting me with a Christmas gift of playing on Christmas Day’

The Phoenix Suns continued their winning ways Thursday night as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-101 at Footprint Center.

Devin Booker scored a game-high 30 points, 15 of which came in the third quarter, to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

The Suns(26-5) extended their winning streak to five games, and also extended their home winning streak to 15.

After trailing by five in the third, Phoenix used a 28-10 run to take complete control of the game, and OKC never threatened after that. 

Now, it’s onto their big Christmas Day showdown against the Warriors(26-6) at Footprint Center. The last time the Suns played on Christmas Day was back in 2009.

Many of Phoenix’s players have not experienced Christmas Day basketball, including Deandre Ayton and Cam Johnson, and both are super excited.

“I’m not going to lie, I feel like I should thank the NBA for gifting me with a Christmas gift of playing on Christmas Day,” Ayton, who added 19 points and 12 rebounds against OKC, said. “A lot of guys that aren’t playing on Christmas are going to be opening their gifts, probably working out, probably getting ready for the next game, but me, I got kids waking up to go see Deandre and the Phoenix Suns play. That’s an honor. You can’t take that for granted. Stuff like that is just hard work. People recognizing us, just winning and stuff like that, and this is the reward. We just have to be grateful and not take it for granted at all.”

Cam Johnson, who scored 21 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-5 from downtown against OKC, added: “I’ll be honest with you, I’m viewing it as my first time, ever in my life, playing a basketball game on Christmas—watched NBA games every Christmas since I was a little kid, just the opportunity to go and play in that game. I like the time of the game, 3 P.M.; I’m hoping it stays that way, we show up, get to it. It’s like a dream come true, playing on Christmas, getting out there, and I’m just super excited for that. Never mind whatever else might be going around, just excited to have that game.”

Phoenix is 1-1 against the Warriors this season, and both games had a playoff feel. According to Chris Paul, playing Golden State is a good test for the Suns.

“Playing against Golden State, they always make you think, playing against the Lakers, Milwaukee, all those good teams,” he said. “They’re going to make you think the game, so it’s always a good test for us because every team is different.”

Phoenix and Golden State are the two best teams in basketball, so Saturday’s game against the Warriors should be a lot of fun.

Watch below as Ayton talks win over OKC, playing Warriors on Christmas Day:

Suns’ Booker: ‘I feel good, man, playing basketball again’

The Phoenix Suns(24-5) got back their leading scorer Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets(16-16) as Devin Booker made his return after missing seven games with a hamstring injury.

In under 27 minutes of action, Booker scored 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting (4-of-8 3FG) to go along with six rebounds and five assists.

Phoenix led wire-to-wire and routed the Hornets 137-106 at Footprint Center as JaVale McGee led the Suns in scoring for a second-straight game, tallying 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting and seven rebounds in 16 minutes of action tonight.

The Suns have now won three straight and five out of their last six. 

“I feel good, man, playing basketball again,” Booker said postgame. “It’s not easy to sitting over on that sideline for a substantial amount of time, but we have a really good team, and I learned some things and seen some things from the sideline that I tried to implement today, and I’m going to use moving forward.”

Suns head coach Monty Williams added on Booker: “I just thought he had pop. I didn’t think I wasn’t going to see that, but I just saw Book (Devin Booker). He was gliding up and down the floor, which is what he does. And he and Chris (Paul), both those guys in pick-and-roll tonight, were willing passers, getting off the ball, and we were getting second side actions off of those two in pick- n-roll. He didn’t look winded. He thought I was taking him out in the first quarter around the five, and I was like, no, keep playing. You can tell, when you play, you know when a guy is tired slash winded slash trying to find his second wind. There is a look we all have, and he didn’t have it, and so I just wanted him to keep playing.”

Without Booker, the Suns were 5-2 and kept up their winning ways. According to Booker, one thing he noticed about the team while he was away is how much talent they have in Phoenix.

“We have a lot of talented players,” he said. “That know how to play the game and play for each other. It’s kind of rare to find teams that play the right basketball every single night, and I’ve been on the other end of that and know that. I don’t take it for granted the situation that we’re in.”

Phoenix does have a lot of talent, which was on full display against the Hornets. The Suns get back at it Tuesday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers. 

Suns’ Ayton: ‘I wanted to start a winning legacy in Phoenix’

The Phoenix Suns concluded the month of November the way it started, with a win. Led by Deandre Ayton’s 24 points and 11 rebounds and Chris Paul’s 15 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, and five steals, Phoenix defeated the Warriors 104-96 Tuesday night at FootPrint Center.

The rematch is Friday at Chase Center.

With the win, the Suns extended their winning streak to a league-best 17 games, tying the franchise record for the longest winning streak.

“It’s cool, man, Paul said about the winning streak. “You sort of forget about it because we just be hooping. We prepare for every game the same way, and when you do that, it’s about building habits. Like I said, third team, I’ve been on that won 17 in a row, and it’s a really good feeling. To go the whole month without any losses, regardless of who was on the schedule, that’s tough to do.”

Phoenix was 16-0 in November, and the last time they lost was on October 27 against Sacramento. In addition, at 18-3, this is the team’s best start to the season through the first 21 games matching the 2004-05 season. Furthermore, the Suns moved to 10-0 this season when playing an opponent with a record above .500.

Ayton has been with Phoenix through the tough times, including winning 19 games in the 2018-19 season. Last season, the Suns went to the Finals, and now they are tied with the Warriors for the best record in basketball after 21 games, and Ayton wants to keep on winning.

“We wanted to turn this thing around since we got here,” he said. “I wanted a winning legacy; I wanted to start a winning legacy in Phoenix. I think I’ve been saying that the whole time being here. Just having thee great pieces around us, we just have some young guys that know how to play basketball, but at the same time, we’re willing to take that constructive criticism, and not take it personal, but learn. That season where we only won 19 games, it wasn’t really no disappointment, it was just a lesson learned; that we never want to get back to that ever again, and that’s what we’re showing.”

Unfortunately, going forward, Phoenix might be without the services of Devin Booker, who left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. According to head coach Monty Williams, they will find out more about Booker’s health Wednesday.

For now, they celebrate a big win and look to push their streak to 18 Thursday at home against the Pistons.

Suns’ Booker on games against Warriors: ‘This is primetime basketball’

After this week, we may know who is the best team in the Western Conference, and possibly the NBA. The Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors play two times this week, starting on Tuesday in Phoenix. The two teams will play again on Friday at Chase Center.

Currently, the Warriors(18-2), who have the best record in basketball, are on a seven-game winning streak, and during that streak, Golden State has outscored opponents, 112.0 to 97.6 points per game while the Suns(17-3), who have the second-best record in the NBA, are on a 16-game winning streak.

Tuesday’s game marks the first time in NBA history that two teams from the same division with winning percentages above .850 meet over 20 games into a season (sixth time in NBA history regardless of division or conference).

In addition, if Phoenix wins tonight, this would be their 17th-straight win, which would match the longest winning streak in franchise history (also did so during 2006-07 season).

This could be a preview of the Western Conference Finals. According to Devin Booker, who was named Western Conference Player of the Week, the Western Conference champions want to win championships like Golden State.

“They’re battle-tested, they’re champions,” Booker said about Warriors on Monday. “They’ve done everything that I’m trying to get to… You have two talented teams that know how to play against each other. Now, it’s coming down to competing for the full 48 minutes…

“This is primetime basketball. This is what people pay to watch, people pay to see; I’m excited to be a part of it.”

With a win, the Suns would move to 18-3 on the season, matching the franchise record for best record through the first 21 games of a season.

Look, it’s early, and there is a lot of basketball left to be played. However, these two games should be a lot of fun. Both teams want to send a message, and this would be an excellent time to send that message.

Listen below as Booker talks big game against Golden State:

Suns’ Williams on Booker: ‘He likes to kill; That’s who he is’

The Phoenix Suns are rolling and playing some big-time basketball right now. That train rolled into Madison Square Garden on Friday night for a quick stop, they handled business, and now it’s off to Brooklyn as the Suns routed the Knicks 118-97 to win their 15th straight game. 

Phoenix(16-3) led New York(10-9) by as many as 17 points in the first half and had a 13-point halftime lead. The Suns dominated the second half and led by as many 22 points in the third and by as many as 24 points in the game.

Here is the Great, Not so Great, and the Bottom Line of the Suns’ win over Knicks at MSG:

The Great for the Suns:

-Devin Booker loves New York, and he balled out on Friday night. Coming into this game, Book was averaging over 30 points and shooting over 50% a contest at MSG. On Friday, Booker had 21 of his 32 points in the first half on 14/27 from the field, including four threes. 

“A lot of guys say they want to play on this stage, [Booker] really does,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said post-game. “He likes to kill. That’s who he is.”

-Chris Paul was his usual self. Paul, who is leading the NBA in assists per game, had his second straight double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. The Point Gawd just knows how to play the point guard position at an elite level. Paul got everyone involved as Phoenix had seven players in double figures.

-Deandre Ayton had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. This was Ayton’s third consecutive double-double.

Shooting: Phoenix shot 55% from the field against the Knicks, including 46% from downtown(13/28). The Suns have shot 50-plus percent from the field in five consecutive games and eight times on the season and are 8-0 in those games.

Defense: The Suns turned 16 Knick turnovers into 25 points. In addition, they held New York to 37% shooting from the floor. During their 15-game winning streak, Phoenix has held teams below 100 points seven times.

The Not So Great:

You win 15 straight; you dominate pretty much from start to finish. It’s all great for the Suns right now.

Bottom Line:

The Suns have everything clicking right now. They had seven players in double figures, including all five starters; their big three of Booker, Ayton, and Paul are playing well, and again, they have won 15 straight(second-longest in team history). It should be interesting to see if they can keep the streak alive and equal the franchise mark of 17 consecutive wins by the 2006-07 Suns, as they have the Nets and Warriors next. 

What’s Next:

Phoenix finishes off their four-game road trip in Brooklyn against the Nets.

Best of the Rest:

Kemba Walker led the Knicks with 17 points, and Immanuel Quickley had 16 points off the bench.

-Cam Payne had 12 points and six assists, and Cam Johnson added 10 points off Phoenix’s bench.

-The Suns have now won seven consecutive games over the Knicks, the longest winning streak over New York in franchise history.

Watch Below as Booker and Paul react to Suns’ win over Knicks:

Suns’ Booker on Monty Williams: ‘We’re going to keep playing hard for him and winning basketball games’

Before the Phoenix’s 123-111 win over the Rockets on Thursday night at Footprint Center, a story was released by ESPN that accused Suns owner Robert Sarver of racism and misogynism, which was denied by some members of the Suns organization and Sarver.

After the win, Chris Paul, who had nine points and 13 assists, gave his thoughts on the allegations against Sarver.

“I think for us it’s about controlling what we can control, and that’s hooping, that’s basketball,” Paul said. “That’s what we did today, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Paul knows firsthand what it’s like to deal with distractions from ownership as he was with the Clippers when Donald Sterling was forced to sell the team after a video surfaced of him making racial remarks, and Paul knows what it takes to work through it.

“It’s important, it’s important to stay focused, stay locked in,” Paul said. “I went through a few situations in my time in the league and the powers that be, they look into it and do their investigations and what not, but I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in all these years is that us, as a team, we got to talk. It’s not about what everyone else is saying or what everyone else is telling you to do, or what you should do. It’s about how we feel as a team, as a unit, coaching staff, everybody within the organization.” 

Devin Booker, who nearly recorded his first double-double of the season on Thursday night, finishing with a game-high 27 points and season-high nine rebounds against Houston, is happy that the Suns have Monty Williams to help them navigate through this situation.

“Perfect person, man. I heard his quotes pregame; he’s the best at that, at managing situations, controlling the room, and keeping people focused forward,” Booker said. “That’s what he’s done with our team. We’ve talked about it as a team, and you can feel everything he said. We’re sticking by him, and we’re going to keep playing hard for him and winning basketball games.”

There could be difficult times ahead for the Suns, but they have a great core group to work through this situation.

Suns’ Booker: ‘A long time from now, I’ll be able to say that I played with Chris Paul’

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul made more history on Tuesday night in Phoenix’s 112-100 victory over the Pelicans at Footprint Center. Paul recorded his second straight double-double and fourth of the season, notching 14 points and a season-high 18 assists.

Paul moved into third on the NBA’s all-time assists list with his eighth assist on Tuesday night, passing both Mark Jackson (now 5th with 10,334 assists) and Steve Nash (now 4th with 10,335 assists). Paul, who leads the league in assists per game this season (career-best 11.8 following tonight), has dished 10+ assists in all but one game this season.

After the game, Paul reacted to moving up the all-time assists list.

“It means a lot, and I’m grateful,” Paul said. “I thank God for this opportunity; I say it all the time, not only to be on the team and still be in the league but to be playing. You don’t take that for granted. I looked at that list when I first came into the league and seeing that John Stockton, and I was like, ‘I’m going to get it.’ That ship sailed, that ship sailed. It sailed a while ago when I started missing all those games. But to be third and still be playing, I’m grateful for it, and I still have a ways to go.”

Two weeks ago, Paul became the first player with 20,000 points and 10,000 assists in NBA history, and according to Devin Booker, who scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter against New Orleans, what we are saying with Paul is very special.

“We keep acting like this is normal—we go into the locker room after, ‘oh he passed Steve Nash and Mark Jackson, game ball.’ It’s bigger than that, man; it really is,” Booker said. “Obviously, I knew he was going to be close coming in today, but he passed it by a lot. I’m just happy to be a part of it, being a fan and just inspired by it, honestly. I’ve been a fan for a really long time, so it’s really fun to see, and it’s really fun to be a part of it. A long time from now, I’ll be able to say that I played with Chris Paul.”

Paul is a special player. At age 36, he continues to defy the odds and play at a high level.

Suns’ Booker: ‘We have a target on our back’

With 8:50 left in the second quarter, the Cleveland Cavaliers(3-4) had a 14-point lead (42-28) on Saturday night. However, the Suns closed out the half on a 22-4 run to take a 50-46 lead into halftime, sparking what would go on to be a 50-12 run.

Phoenix(2-3) opened up the second half outscoring Cleveland 28-8 to take a 78-54 lead with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter, and they defeated the Cavaliers 101-92 at Footprint Center.

Devin Booker scored a game-high 27 points to go along with nine assists, seven of which came in the first half, and Chris Paul had his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 assists. Before exiting in third with a right leg contusion, Deandre Ayton tallied 17 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

Before this game, Phoenix was winless(0-2) at home and on a two-game losing streak, but they busted out in the second quarter and never looked back.

“I think we were probably just on a string a little bit more,” Paul said about the 50-12 run. “Communicating a little bit better, and I think that helps everything—our offense, our defensive intensity picked up everything.”

Cam Johnson, who scored 10 points on Saturday, added about the 50-12 run: “We think we’re capable of that all the time. You keep your head down, keep pushing, keep trying to get better, keep trying to get back to high-level championship basketball. I think we’ve got a good team, good guys that always stick together, and that period of the game showed it. We can still obviously be so much better. If we went on that part 50-12, then what do we do the rest of the game? Cleaning all that stuff up going forward is going to be big for us.”

For the Cavaliers, who were on the second game of a back-to-back after losing to the Lakers on Friday night, fatigue might have been an issue, according to Kevin Love, who had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

“I feel like you could tell by the way that we shot it, pretty much across the board, that we were pretty fatigued,” Love said. “I don’t think we’ve shot the ball well from three all year; a number of us haven’t, me included. Fatigue played a big part in this, and I think you have to tip your hat to them; they were very hungry for the win. That’s a really good team down there in the other locker room.” 

The Cavs are now 2-2 on their five-game road trip.

Last season, Phoenix snuck up teams and ultimately became Western Conference champions, but now, they can’t sneak up on anybody, which Booker discussed postgame.

“We have a target on our back,” Booker said. “People watched what we did last year and probably have something to prove, so you’re not going to catch anyone off guard, and you’re going to get everybody’s best. It’s going to be a great crowd anytime you come to Phoenix, and people get hyped up for that, and we need the same energy.”

Best of the Rest:

-With 10 assists tonight, Chris Paul now has 10,328 in his career and is seven assists away from passing Mark Jackson (10,334) for fourth on the NBA’s all-time career assists list and eight away from passing Steve Nash (10,335) for third on the all-time list.

-Cedi Osman scored a game-high 20 points for Cleveland tonight, knocking down six three-pointers on 12 attempts. It marked Osman’s 24th career game of 20+ points and the first this season. His six three-point field goals matched a career-high, which he’s now done three times in his career, all on the road.

What’s Next:

Suns continue their five-game homestand on Tuesday night against former friend Willie Green and the Pelicans, and the Cavaliers finish their five-game road trip on Monday against the Hornets.