HomeSportSuns Scorch Wizards Behind Booker's Brilliant Performance

Suns Scorch Wizards Behind Booker’s Brilliant Performance


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The Phoenix Suns continued their torrid start to the season, improving to 9-3 with a 118-103 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night. Leading the way was the red-hot scoring of Devin Booker, who poured in a game-high 35 points to go along with 7 assists and 4 rebounds.

Booker was locked in from the opening tip, knocking down 14 of his 24 field goal attempts, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. It was yet another masterful offensive performance from the 26-year-old shooting guard, who has taken his game to new heights this season.

“I’m just playing with a ton of confidence right now,” Booker said postgame. “The work I put in over the summer is paying off. I’m letting the game come to me and taking what the defense gives.”

Booker wasn’t alone in his offensive brilliance, as the Suns had five players score in double figures. Chris Paul chipped in 16 points and 12 assists, while Mikal Bridges added 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

Off the bench, bismack Biyombo provided an interior spark with 13 points and 7 rebounds, continuing his strong play as a reserve big man. Cameron Johnson also gave Phoenix a lift with 10 points and went 2-of-4 from downtown.

For the Wizards, it was a disappointing road loss that dropped them to 5-7 on the young season. Bradley Beal led the way with 31 points while Kyle Kuzma added 22 points and 7 rebounds, but Washington didn’t get enough defensive stops or bench production to hang with the high-powered Suns.

Phoenix Suns Player Stats:

Devin Booker: 35 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists (14/24 FG, 6/11 3PT)

Mikal Bridges: 17 points, 4 rebounds (6/10 FG, 3/5 3PT)  

Chris Paul: 16 points, 3 rebounds, 12 assists (7/12 FG, 2/4 3PT)

Deandre Ayton: 10 points, 8 rebounds

Bismack Biyombo: 13 points, 7 rebounds

Cameron Johnson: 10 points (2/4 3PT)

Washington Wizards Player Stats:  

Bradley Beal: 31 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists (10/20 FG, 5/10 3PT)

Kyle Kuzma: 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists (9/20 FG, 2/7 3PT)

Kristaps Porzingis: 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists (5/15 FG)

Monte Morris: 10 points, 7 assists (4/8 FG)

Rui Hachimura: 8 points (2/8 FG)

Suns Start Fast, Never Trail

Phoenix controlled this one from the opening tip, racing out to a 30-18 lead after the first quarter behind 11 points from Booker. The Suns shot a blistering 54% from the field and hit 6 three-pointers in the opening frame.

Washington was able to steady themselves in the second, getting the deficit down to 6 at one point. But Biyombo provided a huge spark off the bench with 9 points, helping Phoenix push the lead back to 60-48 at the half.

The Wizards made one final push in the third quarter, cutting the Suns’ lead down to 5 at one point. That’s when Booker took over, pouring in 11 points in the period while Phoenix outscored Washington 33-24 to open up an 18-point cushion heading into the fourth.  

From there, the Suns put the game away early in the final stanza by ripping off a quick 9-0 run to take their biggest lead at 102-75. The Wizards were never able to get the deficit under 15 the rest of the way as Phoenix cruised to a comfortable victory.

“We had a great start to the game and were just able to impose our will,” said Suns head coach Monty Williams. “When we play with the necessary force and physicality, we’re tough to beat.”

Defense Continues to Impress

While the scoring outbursts from Booker and Paul garner most of the headlines, it has actually been the Suns’ defense that has fueled their hot start to the season. Entering the night, they ranked in the top 10 in defensive rating, opponent field goal percentage and points allowed per game.

Against the Wizards, that elite defense was once again on display. Washington shot just 41% from the field and 31% from three-point range. Phoenix’s rotations were crisp, their closeouts were sharp, and they did an excellent job of forcing the Wizards into difficult looks on most possessions.

The Suns held Wizards star big man Kristaps Porzingis to just 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting. They also prevented Washington from getting many easy baskets in the paint, with Ayton and Biyombo providing a formidable interior defensive presence.

“Our defense has really bought into helping each other and being disciplined,” Bridges said. “We all take pride in locking teams down. When our offense is cooking like it was tonight, and we get stops defensively, we’re tough to beat.”

Phoenix held a 49-40 advantage on the glass, including 13 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second-chance points. Their ability to create multiple possessions and prevent the Wizards from doing the same played a key role in the win.

With the victory, the Suns improved to 9-3 on the season and have now won five straight contests dating back to a loss against the Warriors on October 25. They’ll look to keep the momentum going on Thursday in Portland against the Trail Blazers.

As for the Wizards, they’ve now dropped four of their last five games and will look to get back in the win column on Friday at home against the Miami Heat.


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