After missing three games due to a wrist injury, Devin Booker made his return tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder but it wasn’t enough to as the Thunder beat the Phoenix Suns 126-108. Thanks to a huge third quarter from Danilo Gallinari and career high scoring performance by Shai Gilgerous-Alexander, the Suns were unable to keep up with the Thunder.
In his first game back, Booker had a decent night, given his usual scoring proficiency. He put up 18 points on 6 of 11 shoots in 28 minutes of play. He started off slow and eventually found his rhythm as the game progress and racked up four rebounds and three assists. It makes sense that Booker wouldn’t come out guns blazing and scoring 50 so it’ll be interesting to see how he’ll play in the next few games.
Meanwhile, Ricky Rubio played out of his mind as he scored 24 points on 9 of 11 shooting and got eight assists too. He was on fire from the start of the game and was still able to keep the offense chugging along while not turning the ball over the entire game. Definitely one of Rubio’s best performances as a Sun. The rest of the starting unit played ok with Dario Saric scoring 16, Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 13. Aron Baynes had a dreadful nine points performance though. The bench also struggled with Elie Okobo’ 11 points the highest on the team.
Meanwhile, Alexander had a hell of a night as he put up 32 points on 11-18 shooting and collected four rebounds and three assists. He had his way against the Suns the entire night and was feasting in the paint and from 10-15 feet. Dennis Schroder also had a great game as he put up 24 points, team-high nine rebounds and six assists. Having that production coming off the bench, along with Danilo Gallinari’s 22 points, allowed the Thunder to pull ahead in the fourth quarter where the game was still tight. The Suns inability to defend in the second half, along with the poor offensive output in the fourth quarter, buried them.
The Suns have loss five games in a row and are in a freefall. It’s tough for a young team to break from this slump and the team’s schedule gets even tougher with the Rockets, Nuggets and Trail Blazers coming up. The Suns can’t feel sorry about their situation, nor can the team be accepting of its position. If the Suns want to rebound, the team needs to rally around their healthy players and rise to the challenge.