Booker Breaks Franchise Record, but Dallas Demurs

Feb 10, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts on the court during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Golden State Warriors won 112-104. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) reacts on the court during the game against the Golden State Warriors at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Golden State Warriors won 112-104. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

In what could have been called a revenge game for Dallas, the Suns threw everything they could at the Mavericks defense, it just wasn’t enough.

Until the 4th quarter finished up, the story for last night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks in Mexico City was going to be that the Suns just weren’t aggressive enough; that the Mavs looked like they wanted the win more than Phoenix; and that the Mavs played a fundamental style of basketball that the Suns’ sloppy offense just couldn’t keep up with.

For the most part that all remains true as the Suns lost for a combination of those three reasons and more, never taking over the game for any length of time to pull away from Dallas and win a game that for Phoenix should have been winnable.

In fact, it was the Mavericks that at the start of the 3rd quarter pulled away from Phoenix, toying with the Suns on offense, scoring at will, and tearing off a 19-4 run that became nearly impossible to overcome.

I say ‘nearly impossible’ because Devin Booker literally did everything he possibly could to try and pull the Suns back, including breaking a franchise record for most points in a quarter.

Down 12 when the 4th quarter began, Devin Booker hit a three 8 seconds in, his second of the game. He had 14 points at that moment.


8:49 – Three-point shot (6/17pts) 92-84
8:23 – One free-throw (7/18pts) 93-85
6:55 – Driving Layup (9/20pts) 97-89
4:22 – Driving Layup (11/22pts) 99-91
3:49 – Three-point shot (14/25pts) 102-94
2:41 – Running Layup (16/27pts) 105-96
2:41 – One free throw (17/28pts) 105-97
2:10 – Two free throws (19/30pts) 105-99
1:43 – Driving Layup (21/32pts) 108-101
42.8 – Three-point shot (24/25pts) 111-104
14.5 – Three-point shot (27/38pts) 111-107
11.8 – One free throw (28/39pts) 113-108

Devin Booker was on fire. The problem was, not only could the Suns not stop Dallas enough on defense in the 4th – Dallas still scored 25 points – but the Suns turned the ball over six times, including two by Booker that if the Suns had maintained possession, may have changed the outcome of the game.

That being said, Booker’s accomplishment was very impressive.

His 28 points in the fourth quarter was a franchise record for most points in any quarter, previously breaking Stephon Marbury’s record of 26 points set against the San Antonio Spurs on 11/29/02 – also in the 4th (Phoenix won that one 94-87). Book’s 5 three-point shots in the 4th is one shy of the franchise record 6, currently held by Gerald Green on 3/6/14 vs OKC, and by Shannon Brown at Charlotte on 11/7/12.

Booker’s 39 points tied his career-high set earlier this season. He also dished out 3 assists, but had a game-high 7 turnovers.

In the 4th quarter Eric Bledsoe deferred his offense to Booker and finished with only 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5, assists, 4 turnovers, a steal, and a blocked shot. He took only four shot attempts all night, and nothing from outside.

Tyson Chandler had a double-double at halftime and fell one rebound short of another 20 rebound game this season, finishing with 14 points and 19 boards.

Dallas had very balanced scoring across the board with 6 players finishing in double-figures. Darren Williams and Harrison Barnes led the way with 23 and 22 points each. Williams also dished out 12 assists, whereas Barnes recorded 5, with 4 rebounds and 2 steals.

Dirk Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews each finished with 18 points apiece, although Dirk recorded 6 rebounds, and Matthews recorded 5 assists. J.J. Barea too dished out 5 assists for Dallas.

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Opinions from the Valley of the Suns

Devin Booker looked fantastic in the 4th quarter and showed a level of capability that he had not shown yet in his young career.

20+ scoring periods do not come around too often and last night was not evidence that he’s going to start doing it consistently. Yet it was still extremely impressive because he literally put the team’s offensive game on his shoulders in crunch time and proved that he was capable of carrying the team if need be. As he (hopefully) develops into the star we all think he will be, games like last night’s are going to be moments along the way that are going to be visible spikes in his growth. Impressive; exciting; noteworthy; and memorable.

I also wanted to note that I did not understand the hubbub about the Cavaliers game. Yes it was a great ending. Yes the Suns could have taken the lead on the Cavs in the 4th quarter. Yes they did not cower down to the Cavs stars and let the run the Suns over – in the second half.

However, the loss to Dallas was proof of what I believed when the Cavs game finished up – a fluke.

This is not a balanced and consistent Suns team.

Let us not forget, the Suns had to climb out of a 22 point deficit to even make it a game in the 4th quarter. And even though they could have taken the lead, they still lost. Granted it felt better than the loss to Dallas because Cleveland is the reigning world champions, but still.

Suns fans should not expect this team to be any better than the pace they are on right now – 25 wins, two better than last season. Not to mention, if they trade Tyson Chandler and Brandon Knight, there is a very real chance they sink even farther.

Related Story: While the Suns are in Mexico, relive the Suns in Tokyo, Japan, 1990.