Devin Booker leads Suns with season-high 48 points in win vs. Spurs

Jan 17, 2022, 10:42 PM

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams has always talked about not wanting his team to get in the habit of relying on scoring flurries from Devin Booker or Chris Paul’s fourth-quarter takeovers.

The way his group steps up even when they could potentially still win off those two things is a testament to his coaching job and how the Suns are a capital T team.

Devin Booker had a season-high 48 points, plus five rebounds, six assists and three steals in Monday’s 121-107 win over the San Antonio Spurs. But in a close game for three-plus quarters, Phoenix’s most important stretch came when Booker was resting.

Thirty seconds after Booker was put on the bench with 9:46 remaining, the Suns were down three. What came next was a 16-2 run over the four minutes Booker rested that completely overwhelmed San Antonio and put the Suns in the driver’s seat leading by 11.

The win was elementary from there for the squad that was on the second game of a back-to-back and was playing the day after a three-hour-plus flight out of Detroit.

Believe me, that spurt while Booker sat will be what he is the happiest about. Not the 48 that tied for the fourth-most points he’s ever scored.

He said as much after Friday’s win.

“I did the points with losses, and that’s not it,” Booker said Friday. “I just try to win basketball games. That trumps everything.”

“Everybody was a little fatigued. I could tell, including myself. And we just used each other as support to figure it out,” Booker said on Monday.

The victory on Monday makes it two out of the last three in which the Suns’ other players rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter after being carried through three. It was Booker and Deandre Ayton against the Indiana Pacers on Friday that did the heavy lifting before Booker and Bismack Biyombo did so in San Antonio.

Biyombo had a terrific outing, getting the nod over Jalen Smith for the backup 5 minutes with Ayton (sprained right ankle) ruled out. Biyombo had a season-high 17 points and 14 rebounds, eight of which were on the offensive glass.

“Man, Biz so solid,” point guard Chris Paul said of Biyombo. “It’s a shame he was out the league. It’s a shame because he gives you everything he has.”

Booker scored 41 of his 48 points in the first three quarters and the Suns really needed it, especially in the third period. The Suns had mostly put in a manageable shift at halftime before losing their rhythm on both ends of the floor, giving up a 35-28 edge in the third quarter and trailing by as many as 10. Booker contributed 16 of those 28 points and played all 12 minutes to keep Phoenix within range.

At the aforementioned three-point deficit before the Suns’ Booker-less stretch, Cam Johnson earned two free throws off a Chris Paul steal and knocked ’em both down. Two possessions later, Cam Payne drilled a midrange jumper and then a steal by Johnson saw him go coast-to-coast with one of his best highlights of the season.

After a Spurs timeout with Phoenix up five, San Antonio scored only for Paul to hit his signature middy the next time down. A Paul block led to a Payne lob for JaVale McGee and after another Paul jumper, Mikal Bridges got the Suns’ third steal in four minutes to create two more free throws he’d convert on to get Phoenix in control up 11.

Payne was a game-high +33 with 11 points and Cam Johnson added eight.

“Just looking at the bench production, that was one of the keys to the game … I thought it gave us some balance tonight,” head coach Monty Williams said.

Phoenix dished out 29 assists. Paul had a dozen of ’em with 15 points, two steals and two blocks.

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Empire of the Suns

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton still Suns’ priority, says GM: ‘We want to keep it together’

Suns general manager James Jones said nothing has changed on the Deandre Ayton front over the past several weeks, from his seat at least.
3 days ago
General manager, James Jones of the Phoenix Suns before Game One of the Western Conference Second R...
Kellan Olson

GM James Jones clarifies ESPN article on Phoenix Suns’ draft strategy

Suns GM James Jones clarified an ESPN article that painted a detailed picture of the team's unorthodox practices in the NBA Draft.
3 days ago
NBA draft prospects pose for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, before the start of...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA Draft live blog: Pistons deal for C Jalen Duren in trade-heavy night

Visit ArizonaSports.com for Phoenix Suns coverage as they stand pat without a draft pick or move into the Thursday action.
3 days ago
Cameron Johnson #23 of the Phoenix Suns in the third quarter at Crypto.com Arena on April 06, 2022 ...
Kellan Olson

Cam Johnson ready for upcoming process, extension talks with Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns forward Cam Johnson discussed the contract extension he is eligible to receive this offseason and how he's approaching it.
4 days ago
Jamaree Bouyea #1 of the San Francisco Dons makes a move along the baseline while being defended by...
Kellan Olson

2022 NBA Draft targets for Phoenix Suns: Projected undrafted sleepers

Could the Phoenix Suns find a rotation player in the undrafted rookie free agent market after the 2022 NBA Draft?
6 days ago
Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns high fives Ish Wainright #12 after scoring against the Dallas...
Kellan Olson

Deandre Ayton’s Suns teammates want RFA C back, supporting him

A few of Deandre Ayton's teammates expressed support for him and a desire for the restricted free agent to stay with the Suns.
5 days ago
Devin Booker leads Suns with season-high 48 points in win vs. Spurs