Basketball News: The Suns had eight players score in double digits in their last game, a win over Washington on Thursday night. They had nine when Devin Booker returned to action on Sunday night.
Booker returned to the club with the best record in the NBA, scoring 16 points in his return from a hamstring injury, and the Suns established a season-high for points in a 137-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night.
The two-time All-Star played 26 minutes and sat out the fourth quarter after missing seven games due to a hamstring ailment. The Suns never trailed and led by as many as 36 points on their way to a 24-5 record, a half-game better than Golden State.
Booker, who was 4 of 8 from 3-point range, said, “I learned some things from the sideline that I tried to execute today.” “Even when we had workers out, the machine kept going. Someone goes forward and assumes the position.”
On November 30, the 25-year-old guard suffered a left hamstring injury in Phoenix’s nationally televised triumph over the Golden State Warriors, who were then in the first place. The triumph was part of a franchise-record 18-game winning streak, which came to an end two games later when the Suns fell to the Warriors in San Francisco without Booker.
Without Booker, the defending Western Conference champion Suns went 5-2. With Golden State losing four of their past ten games, the Suns have risen to the top of the rankings heading into Sunday’s contest.
After dropping their first two games, the Suns are 14-0 at home. The Suns had nine players score in double figures for the first time since April 21, 1991, versus Portland, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Phoenix made 20 of 41 3-point attempts against the Hornets on Sunday, a season record for that category, and shot 56.8% overall.
Suns coach Monty Williams noted, “We have a ‘we score’ mindset.” “We score, we defend, and I believe that when you play that way, you open up a lot of opportunities to shoot the ball from long range or assault the paint.”
Phoenix had an early lead, leading 37-15 at the end of the first quarter.
“All we wanted to do was come in determined and make them pay,” said Booker. “Make sure we find the correct player and shoot it with confidence if they made any defensive blunders.”
Williams remarked of Booker, ” “He didn’t appear to be out of breath at all. He was gliding from one end of the floor to the other.”
Booker is averaging 23.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in his sixth season with the Suns while shooting a career-high 40.3 per cent from 3-point range.
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