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Streaking Suns crack top 5 of national NBA power rankings

Jae Crowder #99 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate after defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA game at Phoenix Suns Arena on February 10, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There’s been a buzz in the Valley about the Phoenix Suns ever since they were the only undefeated team in the 2020 NBA bubble.

Now nearly two months into the 2020-21 regular season, the Suns are receiving national recognition and praise.

The team has won nine of their last 10 games and is currently on a six-game winning streak that includes victories over the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.

Bleacher Report’s latest power rankings have Phoenix as the No. 2 team in the NBA, even calling the Suns a “dark-horse West contender.”

The ranking moves the team up from the No. 6 spot last week and places them behind the No. 1 Utah Jazz.

The pairing of Chris Paul and Devin Booker has begun to click. The game against the Bucks was the first time both scored more than 25 points in the same contest. Phoenix has a net rating of 19.4 when they’re on the floor together.

Booker, in particular, has been on fire during the streak, scoring 28.3 points per game and averaging 5.7 assists. In the win over the Sixers, he poured in 24 second-half points and was just unstoppable.

ESPN didn’t have the Suns ranked quite as high, but still had Phoenix moving up the list from No. 7 to the No. 5 spot.

Their rankings also had the Jazz at No. 1, while the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 2), Clippers (No. 3) and Sixers (No. 4) all came in ahead of the Suns.

The current run is tied for their second-longest such streak in the past 10 seasons, behind only last season’s 8-0 bubble performance. Devin Booker has been on fire the past four games, averaging 32.3 points while shooting 56.3% overall. He had three consecutive games of at least 30 points for the first time this season and started Sunday’s game outscoring Orlando by himself in the first quarter (17-16) before finishing with 27.

Phoenix will once again face another tough Eastern Conference opponent in the Brooklyn Nets in their next contest on Tuesday at Phoenix Suns Arena.

However, the Nets will be without 10-time All-Star forward Kevin Durant due to a mild hamstring strain.

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