Booker: Chris Paul’s ’15 assists and 0 turnovers is unheard of’

Jun 10, 2021, 12:52 PM
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) passes as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) defends during ...
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) passes as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) defends during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Monday, June 7, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul hit a mark on Wednesday that’s never been reached before in the NBA.

With his stat line of 17 points, 15 assists and zero turnovers against the Denver Nuggets, Paul became the first player in league history to have 15+ points, 15+ assists and no turnovers three times in the playoffs.

He’s done it for three different franchises and in three different decades. He did it with the New Orleans Hornets in 2008, the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 and now the Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Paul joins the likes of Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson and Johnny Moore as the only players to record 15 assists and zero turnovers in the playoffs.

“Obviously, 15 assists and zero turnovers is unheard of,” Suns guard Devin Booker after the team’s 123-98 lopsided Game 2 victory.

“But for Chris Paul that’s the thing that he does and makes it look normal.”

The 36 year-old in April passed Johnson in total assists when he tallied his 10,142nd against the Milwaukee Bucks. Paul currently sits fifth on the all-time assists list.

He continues to add on to that total in the postseason.

“Guys are open. I got the easy part. All I got to do is find them,” Paul said.

“It’s a credit to our coaching staff to tell you the truth. The things that we’ve drilled all season long – it’s nice to see them coming to play in game form, especially in the playoffs.”

It’s also a credit to the Suns’ recent shooting performances.

As a team, they have been shooting an efficient 50.8% from the field and 43.1% from deep through the first two games of this series.

“I haven’t really been on a team quite like this where everybody shoots it the way that they do,” Paul said.

“You don’t have to try to find a certain guy. If there is a guy that helps in, and I see Mikal (Bridges) over there, Cam Johnson, Cam Payne, or whoever it is – everybody are knock-down shooters. You’re literally just making reads.”

Coming into the series, everyone was wondering if Paul’s shoulder would get back to full strength after injuring it in the opening round against the Los Angeles Lakers.

He put those doubts to rest after recording double-doubles in back-to-back games to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead against the Nuggets. Paul finished with 21 points and 11 assists in the Suns’ 122-105 Game 1 victory.

“I feel like he’s back,” Booker said.

“We knew when there wasn’t anything structurally wrong with it that all he needed was time … I know he’s doing around the clock treatment like always. You can tell he’s back, and he’s feeling it.”

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