Suns Lose Devin Booker, but Pull off Biggest Win of the Season vs Warriors

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Last night, the Phoenix Suns brought an end to the exhausting “best team in the NBA” debate, at least for the time being. Despite losing Devin Booker early on, who exited due to a hamstring injury, the Suns showed off some serious grit—the kind required to carve out a win in the desert against the golden boys.

Boasting a league-best record and with the media following them like a parade, the Warriors trotted into the Footprint Center tonight feeling high and mighty. The Suns had been nipping at their heels for some time, enjoying a soon-to-be extended 16 game winning streak, which advertised this contest as a box office attraction.

Despite their eventual losing effort, the Warriors backed up their hype to begin the affair, leading largely throughout the first half. Jordan Poole brought another strong example to back his Sixth Man of the Year candidacy, walking into halftime with 18 points while shooting 6-9 from the field.

Meanwhile, the Suns seemed to only tread water without Booker, until they closed the second period on a 15-6 run that helped them secure a two point lead at the break. After that, both squads traded buckets and leads down the stretch, until around the fourth quarter’s five minute mark—where Phoenix smelled blood in the water and attacked accordingly.

Locking down on defense time after time, and with a few bombs from Jae Crowder on the side, the Suns started to carve out a lead while the clock ticked down. Phoenix continued to blanket MVP-frontrunner Steph Curry, eventually forcing him into the worst shooting night of his career.

But Landry Shamet, who struggled mightily in relief for Booker all night, drove the final dagger into Golden State’s heart, sinking a triple with just under a minute to play. As his shot whipped through the net, it sent the arena ablaze and extended Phoenix’s lead into double figures.

Once the scoreboard flashed zeroes, it also reflected a 104-96 victory for the Suns, giving way to a record-tying win streak and anointing the NBA’s new leader in the standings.

Ayton deserves credit for tonight’s victory perhaps more than anyone. He finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots, as he bullied Golden State’s smaller team from start to finish.

Even after a tough night offensively, Mikal Bridges shined at the defensive end, repeatedly bothering Curry, or anyone else for that matter who he happened to switch onto. Cameron Johnson carried the team during stretches as well, adding 14 points while going 3-7 from downtown.

But regardless of how the Suns got there, their newly claimed real estate as the league’s top team cannot help but feel satisfying. Their 1-3 start to the season feels like a distant memory, while their NBA Finals run from a year ago feels like it happened just yesterday.

Booker’s hamstring is a tough pill to swallow amidst this absolute feast of a win though. The Suns can only wait to see how he looks tomorrow, which Williams relayed as the next opportunity to offer an update.

However, this night undoubtedly deserves to be classified as a “good” one, especially once considering how the Suns knocked off the league’s winningest team this year even without their superstar.

Next. Mikal Bridges Goes off on the Media. dark

Phoenix’s next victim hails from out East, being the Detroit Pistons. Currently sitting at 4-17, they represent a far less intimidating hurdle to leap over, and if the Suns do so, they break their franchise’s all-time winning streak.