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Center of the Sun: Phoenix Suns now 16-35, Booker's streak of 20+ point games at 16

Suns get a rare win but also lose three this week

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the weekly news roundup of your Phoenix Suns.

Game Recaps

Memphis Grizzlies L (115-96) Full Recap

vs LA Clippers L (124-114) Full Recap

@ Sacramento Kings W (105-103) Full Recap

vs Milwaukee Bucks L (137-112) Full Recap

The Suns are 6.5 games back from the 8th seed with 31 games left to play. They have virtually no chance at making the playoffs so Ryan McDonoungh's only play before the trade deadline is to make a trade or two that benefits the Suns in the future... right? I certainly hope that any playoff hopes for this year are long gone and he does concentrate on the future but we still won't know for sure until the trade deadline has passed. If he can't find any trades that could boost our future then I would be content if he made no trades at all. As they are the Suns already have a good hold on the 2nd pick in this year's draft with a fair shot at #1 in the lottery.

The Bright Side of this season is that Devin Booker keeps setting records. With his 31 points in the Milwaukee game he became the youngest player ever to score at least 20 points in 16 consecutive games. He is also the first NBA player with multiple 27+ point quarters in a season since Stephen Curry had two last season.

Key Stat

50.2 points per game

Since the beginning of 2017, Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker together have averaged scoring 50.2 points per game which is 46.7% of the Suns' total ppg. I love the points total but not the percentage. Without a better defense and/or more consistent scoring contributions from the rest of the team, Eric and Devin can only carry this team so far.

Stats courtesy of NBA.com

Quotes of the Week

“I know I’m elite. Ya’ll might not know it, but I do. As a basketball player, if you don’t feel like that you shouldn’t be playing basketball. If you don’t feel like you’re one of the best players out there playing, you shouldn’t be playing.” - Eric Bledsoe

“Phoenix has been great to me. I’ve been here five years. It’s been a great five years, somewhere I would love to be for a long time. So places like this, where I just fit and they understand me and let me be myself. It’s a big factor for me.” - P.J. Tucker

"I don't have to answer that." - A smiling Devin Booker answered when he was asked if he intended to bank in the last second game winning shot against the Kings.

Rookie Report

Marquese Chriss - 25.5 mpg, 14.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 0.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.0 bpg

Dragan Bender - 13.5 mpg, 5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.0 apg (DNP in 3 games - ankle injury)

Tyler Ulis - 8.9 mpg, 2.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.0 spg (2 DNP-CDs)

Stats courtesy of NBA.com

News & Notes

Horry Scale: Devin Booker wins it for Phoenix Suns off glass. NBA.com

Which Team Is The NBA's Biggest Clown Show? SI/The Crossover

Suns' Eric Bledsoe continues to elevate his game. Bob McManaman/AZCentral Sports

Has Eric Bledsoe played his way into or out of the Suns' future? Zach Lowe/ESPN

Suns rookie Marquese Chriss out to prove he's more than just a dunker. Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports

Three areas that have contributed to Suns' three-game skid. Doug Haller/AZCentral Sports

NBA Lowers Cap Projections For Next Two Years. Hoops Rumors

One last look at Booker's game winner in the Kings game

Suns Trivia

P.J. Tucker has 294 rebounds and 77 steals through 51 games this season. If Tucker reaches at least 500 rebounds and 100 steals this season it would be his fourth consecutive season doing so. Only Atlanta’s Paul Millsap has also done so in each of the past three seasons (Basketball-Reference). The only players in Suns history other than Tucker to reach 500 rebounds and 100 steals in at least three seasons are Shawn Marion, Alvan Adams and Charles Barkley.

Tucker also ranks 14th in all-time regular season steals for Suns players with 462 and 18th in all-time regular season rebounds with 2187. (Land of Basketball.com)

For this season Tucker is leading the Suns in steals, tied for 15th in the NBA in total steals with Ricky Rubio and Jeff Teague and is 22nd in steals per game (1.51). (ESPN.com)

This Week in Suns History

On February 6, 2008 the Phoenix Suns acquired Shaquille O'Neal from the Miami Heat in exchange for four-time NBA All-Star Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks.

On February 8, 1992 Phoenix Sun Cedric Ceballos used his "Hocus-Pocus" (blindfolded) dunk to win the Nestle Crunch Slam-Dunk contest in Orlando during the All-Star weekend.

On February 8, 1996 Phoenix's Charles Barkley moved past 20,000 career points after hitting for 30 points in a 107-102 win over visiting New Jersey.

Previewing the Week Ahead

Monday, February 6th @ New Orleans Pelicans (19-32)

Wednesday, February 8th @ Memphis Grizzlies (31-22)

Friday, February 10th vs Chicago Bulls (25-26)

Saturday February 11th v@ Houston Rockets (37-17)

Another four game week ahead for the Suns but with three road games this time. It looks like another tough week without any games that you could even remotely consider "easy". It also features two rematches with teams the Suns played just last week (Memphis and Sacramento).

First the Suns head down to the Big Easy on Monday night to face the Pelicans. I doubt that they will find anything easy in this game though and I’m picking New Orleans to win.

Next the Suns travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies in their own den. I doubt that Phoenix will have any better luck than they did at home against the Griz last week so they should leave town with their second loss for the week.

On Friday the Suns return home to play the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls are kind of a mess this season so I'm picking the Suns to win this one.

And then the Suns hit the road for Houston on Saturday. I don't think I need to give any reasons for why I'm picking the Rockets to win this game.

I expect the Suns to go 1-3 again this week.

How do you think the Suns will fare?