Suns’ Devin Booker to miss matchup against Thunder with ankle injury

Mar 3, 2024, 1:09 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) holds his leg after injuring it during the second half of an NB...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) holds his leg after injuring it during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets in Phoenix, Saturday, March. 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Devin Booker will miss the second game of a back-to-back for the Phoenix Suns after spraining his ankle in the fourth quarter of a 118-109 loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday.

Booker and Royce O’Neale both went down with ankle injuries on a defensive possession where Booker inadvertently stepped on O’Neale. After the possession ended, Booker hobbled straight to the locker room and did not return.

Head coach Frank Vogel said after the game that x-rays on Booker’s ankle came back negative but the visible discomfort seen in Booker’s reaction to the play was deemed serious enough to keep him out of the lineup on Sunday.

Vogel said pregame Sunday Booker was still being evaluated with updates to come Tuesday.

The Suns face the Oklahoma City Thunder who sit in second place in the Western Conference standings.

“It just happened so fast. It was just a freak play,” O’Neale said after the game.

Other Suns injuries

Center Jusuf Nurkic also left in the second quarter against the Rockets after absorbing some friendly-fire from Josh Okogie.

Nurkic sat out the second half of the loss with what the Suns called a neck sprain.

He was listed as probable for Sunday and will be available.

O’Neale was not listed on the Sunday Injury Report and should be available against the Thunder.

The Suns played Saturday without guard Eric Gordon but he was held off the Injury Report and should return for the matchup against the Thunder.

Bradley Beal made his return to the lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury. His return was short-lived, however, after he was ejected in the third quarter for his involvement in a shoving match with the Rockets’ Jalen Green. He was also probable for Sunday and will play.

Josh Okogie was a late addition to the injury report with a right hip issue. He was ruled out.

Suns opponent

The Oklahoma City Thunder arrive at Footprint Center winners of seven of their last 10 games. They sit .5 games behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for first in the Western Conference.

The two teams played in November, a 111-99 loss for the Suns in Phoenix.

Sunday is the first of two matchups between the Suns and the Thunder this month.

They also meet in Oklahoma City on March 29.

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