Durant absence no bother for Booker and Sun in Win over OKC

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

A big night that was supposed to be about the new addition to the Phoenix Suns was like every big night for the last several years, all Devin Booker.

Wednesday was supposed to be about the home debut of Kevin Durant, but it was not meant to be. Durant injured his ankle during warm-ups and was a late scratch. Instead, Booker continued his hot hand, leading the Suns from start to finish in a comfortable win over Oklahoma City.

Booker does not need Durant to shine from the start

For anyone new to the Phoenix Suns who thought that the recent run from DBook was because of KD, they received a new dose of the reality of how good the Suns’ homegrown superstar is. Having scored at least 35 in four straight heading into the game, Booker came out firing for the Suns, who showed no ill effects from losing Durant.

Booker started the game scoring seven of Phoenix’s first nine points and finished the first quarter with 17. His shooting continued into the second quarter, where 13 more points had Booker at 30 going into halftime. Booker needed that big half, scoring half of the team’s 60 points, with Chris Paul’s 10 points the only other significant contribution.

Fortunately for the Suns, several other players came alive in the second half, and the team ran away with the game.

Ross rains it down in the second half for the Suns

The Thunder cut the lead to five to start the second half, but the other Suns got hot, and the team never looked back. A combined 14 points from Paul and Deandre Ayton got Phoenix going in the third quarter, then Terrance Ross caught fire. Over the last four minutes of the third quarter, Ross scored 12 points, including two three-pointers. Suddenly the game went from close to a blowout, with the Suns putting up 40 third-quarter points.

In the fourth quarter, the biggest drama was whether Booker would get to 40, which he did, reaching 44 points on 17 of 23 shooting in just 27 minutes, as Phoenix cruised to the 132-101 win. While the outcome was what we all expected the day to bring, the road was not quite as envisioned with Durant out. Fortunately, however, for Phoenix, and unfortunately for the rest of the NBA, the Suns also have DBook, and he was enough.

Next. What we have learned about KD with Phoenix. dark