Devin Booker’s hot start fuels Suns in victory against Jazz

Jan 24, 2022, 9:16 PM | Updated: 10:20 pm

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker shot out of the gate in Monday’s 115-109 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz.

Booker put up 13 shots in the opening 12 minutes, and his 17 early points helped the Suns get an upper hand in what would be a competitive game.

He finished with 33 points in the win that was too close for comfort against an undermanned team.

Utah did not play any of its five starters on Monday. The Suns led 31-21 after the first quarter, but Utah cut the deficit to two going into halftime.

Once again, Booker took the onus of trying to create separation. He scored nine points in three minutes to start the second half.

He had 33 points by the end of the third quarter, although Utah led 87-85.

The Suns struggled to string together stops in the first three periods on Monday, as the Jazz found lanes and scored effectively at the rim. The Suns were missing center Deandre Ayton due to a right ankle sprain.

Point guard Chris Paul eventually took command in the final period. He scored or assisted on 11 straight points to give Phoenix the lead for good.

He finished with 27 points and 14 assists, effectively putting the Jazz away.

Center Bismack Biyombo gave the Suns a boost off the bench with 16 points and 13 rebounds, his third double-double in four games.

Booker shot a dubious 5-for-23 in Saturday’s Suns win over the Indiana Pacers. He snapped out of that funk quickly and reached 30 points for the fourth time in six games.

The Suns improved to 37-9 with the win and increased their lead over the Golden State Warriors to 3.5 games in the Western Conference standings. Monday was their seventh straight victory.

Phoenix will take on the Jazz again on Wednesday night from Salt Lake City. The game will air on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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