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Devin Booker scores season-high 59 in Suns’ loss to Jazz

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) lays up the ball as Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 25, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Phoenix Suns losses like the one they had on Monday against the Utah Jazz make you question what the team’s ceiling can even be with so many injuries.

Without Josh Jackson (right ankle sprain), Tyler Johnson (sore right knee) and T.J. Warren (right ankle soreness), plus having Kelly Oubre Jr. (left thumb sprain) ruled out for the year, the Suns can only leave so much to be asked of them.

That was ever-clear in a 125-92 defeat in which Devin Booker was flat-out cooking.

Booker scored a season-high 59, the second-highest outing of his career since he infamously scored 70 against the Boston Celtics in March of 2017. No other Suns player managed to reach double figures and Booker’s teammates combined as a group to shoot 12-for-42.

Booker’s second time dropping at least 50 has him joining Tom Chambers as the only other player in franchise history to possess multiple 50-point games. It’s only the seventh in franchise history.

Booker scored 27 of his 59 points in the first half, continuing to diversify his offensive game in the second half of the season by getting to the free throw line.

He was 16-of-17 against the Jazz from the stripe, making it six straight games he’s been able to get to double-digit attempts. That, on top of a 19-of-34 shooting performance from the line, allowed Booker to get his 59 efficiently.

In the second half and the fourth quarter especially, Booker started reaching that rhythm he caught in The Garden when everything seemed to be rolling.

Instead of leaving Booker in the rest of the game like former Suns head coach Earl Watson chose to in Boston, Igor Kokoskov pulled Booker with 5:12 remaining in the game after not previously giving him any rest in the second half.

That was until Booker checked back in with 2:57 left in the game.

He picked up three more points in doing so, including his most ridiculous shot of the night.

With under 30 seconds left, the Jazz fouled De’Anthony Melton intentionally so Booker couldn’t get another opportunity at reaching 60-plus.

Booker’s 59 breaks the record for the most points ever scored in Utah and snaps another for the most points scored by a Jazz opponent.

He became the fourth player in NBA history to have two 50-point outings before turning 23, per ESPN Stats & Info.


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