NBA

Devin Booker’s 51-point gem leads Suns to sixth straight win, loud ‘MVP’ chants

Devin Booker’s 51-point gem leads Suns to sixth straight win, loud ‘MVP’ chants

Devin Booker set fire to the Chicago Bulls for a season-high 51 points in just three quarters as the Phoenix Suns extended his winning streak to six games with a 132-113 victory on Wednesday night.

Booker scored 25 points in the first half and added 26 more in a sublime third quarter. After a contested three-pointer splashed across the net, “MVP! MVP!” Chants erupted at Footprint Arena and the 26-year-old is certainly making a case early in the season.

“It’s the best,” Booker said of the home crowd. “I don’t know how many sold-out crowds there are in a row, but it’s impressive. Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. They show up and come out.”

The two-time All-Star had a steal late in the third before sprinting down the court and slamming home a dunk for his 50th and 51st points. He had six assists and four rebounds.

“A guy like that gets into a rhythm and it’s too late,” the Bulls guard said. Zach LaVine said “He sets it in motion and it’s over.”

Booker didn’t play in the fourth quarter with the Suns holding a nice lead.

Even more remarkable than Booker’s point total was his efficiency. He shot 20 of 25 from the field, and 6 of 7 from 3-point range. He is the second player in the last 25 years with 50 points and 80% shooting through the first three quarters of a game. James Harden in 2017, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

“It felt like a double-sized edge,” Booker said. “If I get up, he’ll come in.”

Booker now has four career 25-point quarters, tied with Kobe Bryant for second over the past 25 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info research. Not more Stephen Curry he has more than Booker with eight.

“There’s no level where he can’t score,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “He can use both hands, he can score with one hand to his face and he’s willing to take the hard shots.”

It was Booker’s second straight 40-point game. He had 44 in a win at Sacramento on Monday night. The Suns have the best record in the Western Conference at 15-6 and have won 12 of 13 games at home.

The Bulls struggled on defense all night, especially against Booker and Deandre Ayton. Chicago Coach Billy Donovan He was especially irritated in the third quarter, angrily calling a timeout after Phoenix scored a pair of easy bots.

DeMar DeRozan led Chicago with 29 points. LaVine added 21.

The Suns led 64-43 at halftime. Booker roasted the Bulls with 25 points before halftime, repeatedly finding open mid-range jump shots.

“We threw everything at him,” Donovan said. “We caught him, we threw him a box and one. We tried to get him into the guard and to his credit he had a great night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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