The Phoenix Suns beat the LA Clippers, and while there is much in this game to go over, the only thing that matters now is Devin Booker’s game-winner.
Wow. Just wow. The Phoenix Suns just beat one of the best teams in the NBA with their best player hitting a game-winning buzzer-beater over two of the league’s best defenders.
We’ll have a full breakdown of the game coming later tonight, but let’s take a minute while our hearts are still beating out of our chest to appreciate what we just saw.
Just when we thought that Kawhi Leonard was going to flex his muscles and will his team to a fourth-quarter comeback victory, the Suns had the ball with 30 seconds to go in a tie game. Booker gave up the rock after getting double-teamed just across halfcourt to Ayton who found Rubio.
We love Rubio. We all love Rubio. But we will talk about how much we adore Rubio later because there was no reason in the world he should have taken the shot he did in this scenario. He was double-teamed and had six seconds left on the shot clock. I would have liked to have seen Booker rush towards him demand the ball, but instead, he hung back, hoping the Spanish Maestro would find him.
He didn’t and forced a tough shot. It did not go in.
This play will live in Phoenix Suns lore for a long time.
When Zubac cleared the board, every Suns fan’s heart sank because they have seen this script play out before. With 10 seconds left, either Paul George or Kawhi Leonard was going to have plenty to time to drive the length of the court and seal the win.
Enter Mikal Freaking Bridges.
The do-it-all player made the most on-brand play of his career as he deflected the outlet pass from Zubac into the hands of Ayton, who passed to Rubio. This time, Rubio did the smart thing and found Booker, who um, did the rest.
Booker spun left, rose up from 18 feet over Paul George (who may even have fouled him). Over Kawhi Leonard. Fading away. Falling down.
Nothing but the bottom of the net.
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You could tell Kevin Ray on the call wasn’t used to announcing such drama as all he could muster was, “Got it. Wow!” All Eddie Johnson could do was chuckle.
After the game, Booker’s teammates rushed him in the locker room, soaking him with bottles of water. It wasn’t champagne, but what are you going to do? It’s Disney.
That play was a statement that this league better have heard. Thus far, the Suns have been shooed out of the room on so many occasions in the bubble, from ESPN not showing their highlights to the Ringer excluding them in their standings graphic and everything in between.
Something tells me this Booker finish will make Sports Center tonight and be replayed around Suns nation for years to come.
Now, the Phoenix Suns have lept over the Sacramento Kings in the standings and are just one game out of 9th place in the West which would secure a spot in the play-in game.
Enjoy it, Suns fans. After all the heartbreaking losses over the years, you deserve this one. And so does Devin Booker.