PHOENIX SUNS

Devin Booker, Chris Paul among driving forces in Suns’ 8-game win streak

Jan 28, 2022, 11:56 AM | Updated: 12:11 pm
Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns look on a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivin...
Chris Paul #3 and Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns look on a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on January 26, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns are once again streaking in a big way this season.

After winning a franchise-record 18 straight games earlier on this year, Phoenix has put together an impressive month of January, highlighted by an eight-game winning streak.

But before they look to make it nine straight against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, let’s take a closer look at some of the key drivers to the team’s current win streak:

Book it

Suns guard Devin Booker has been red hot for most of the team’s eight-game win streak.

Since the team’s win streak began on Jan. 11 with a victory over the Toronto Raptors, the guard is averaging 30.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals over 36.3 minutes per game.

He’s shooting 45% from the field and 28.2% from long range.

Booker has had five games of at least 30 points, highlighted by a 48-point game against the San Antonio Spurs on Jan. 17 and a 43-point night against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

The latter marked the 16th 40-point showing of Booker’s career, the most in Suns franchise history.

On top of his scoring, the guard also notched 12 rebounds, marking the first time in Suns history a guard recorded at least 40 points and 10 rebounds in a single outing.

The Point God

Point guard Chris Paul is a known facilitator, but his recent stretch of games has seen even more distribution from the vet.

Over the past eight games, the point guard is averaging 10.5 assists per game. That includes four straight outings of at least 11 assists, headlined by 16 in the team’s win over the Indiana Pacers last Saturday.

It was the first time Paul strung together at least four double digit assists nights since the beginning of the season (Oct. 30 to Nov. 6).

Paul hasn’t just dished the rock, either, averaging 17.3 points per game on 54.9% shooting. He’s also grabbing 4.3 rebounds and making 2.1 steals over 35 minutes per outing.

Depth standing tall

As much as Booker and Paul have carried the brunt of the workload for most of the winning streak, Phoenix’s depth has held up well with center Deandre Ayton (ankle), forward Jae Crowder (wrist) and guard Cameron Payne (wrist) missing multiple games.

The absences have led head coach Monty Williams to turn to the likes of center Bismack Biyombo and forward Cam Johnson.

Since Ayton went down (five games), Biyombo is averaging 15 points, 10 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over 28.6 minutes per game.

As for Johnson, in the back-to-back against the Jazz that Crowder missed, the forward averaged 14 points, 6.5 rebounds and two steals over 37.4 minutes per game. He shot 50% from the field and 58.3% from beyond the arc.

Help could be on the way soon enough, with both Crowder and center JaVale McGee — the latter of whom missed Wednesday’s game against the Jazz — seen getting up shots during team shootaround on Friday.

It won’t be Friday, however, as Ayton, McGee, Payne and Crowder are among those listed as out for Phoenix’s matchup against Minnesota.

The Suns take on the Timberwolves at 7 p.m. on Friday. Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for all the action.

Penguin Air

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