The Phoenix Suns lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, falling 115-114 at home to the San Antonio Spurs in one of the more bizarre endings to a game you will ever see. The Suns led from start all the way until the final two seconds of the game, before losing out.
Superstar Kevin Durant was his usual fantastic self, pacing his side with a team high 27 points and seven assists. He received help in the form of Josh Okogie and Grayson Allen, and in the first half had a number of “welcome to the league” plays against Victor Wembanyama.
Durant clearly missed his teammates Devin Booker and Bradley Beal who sat because of injury, but Booker did give an update on his status during the game.
Speaking to TNT early in their broadcast of the game, Booker appeared to be in great spirits, and took a question by Brian Anderson regarding his injury status and when he’ll be back on the court in his stride, saying;
"“Pretty soon. You know when you’re not playing you have more boxes to check than when you are so you know just taking it day by day. I haven’t checked all those boxes yet, but it’s coming soon.”"
Booker has only appeared in one game this season – an opening night win over the Golden State Warriors – and he was the best player on a court that featured Durant, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Klay Thompson. His 32 points leading all scorers in the game.
The Suns have gone 1-2 since Booker has been forced to sit, but that record doesn’t do the team justice. Head coach Frank Vogel has this group playing to a higher level defensively than many thought they could get to, while Durant has looked extremely comfortable in being the sole star surrounded by shooters.
More concerning for the organization is the fact Beal is yet to suit up, with his “tweaked back” a harder injury to gauge than Booker’s apparent ankle issue. But the sooner they can get Booker back the better, as the Suns need to amass as many wins as possible in a crowded Western Conference.
Thursday’s rematch with the Spurs would appear to be a game too soon for Booker, although with the controversial way the game ended between the two teams on Tuesday, it would not be a surprise to see Booker try and give it a go.
Missing three games so early in the season does not help Booker’s case to try and win the MVP award this season, with players now required to appear in a minimum of 65 games to be eligible. Booker isn’t flirting with missing that mark yet, but we have only just entered November, and the margins have already decreased for him.
With the L.A. Clippers recently trading for James Harden – a move that still doesn’t put them above the Suns out West – the quicker they can get a healthy Booker back out on the court, the better. The franchise has a three game road swing out East after the rematch with the Spurs, and from there the need to get both Booker and Beal on the court at some point will only increase.