Home Sports Devin Booker scores 52, lifts Suns over Pelicans

Devin Booker scores 52, lifts Suns over Pelicans

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Devin Booker Suns beat Pelicans NBA

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones (5) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, April 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS — Devin Booker scored 52 points, the fifth-highest scoring game of his career, to power the Phoenix Suns to a 124-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, bringing them within a game of the Pelicans for the No. 6 playoff spot in the NBA Western Conference.

Rebounding from a 128-103 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday night, the Suns (44-31) inched closer to New Orleans (45-30). The teams play again in Phoenix on Sunday.

Kevin Durant scored 20 points and Jusuf Nurkic added 19 for the Suns, who led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter. New Orleans cut the deficit with a 20-8 run to trail 103-90 entering the fourth quarter.

The Pelicans cut the deficit to 115-108 on CJ McCollum’s 3-pointer, but Booker drove the lane twice within 36 seconds of the final two minutes for layups that iced the game.

Booker’s first 24 points came on just nine shots from the field in the first quarter – he was 8-of-9 from behind the arc. His 3-pointer with 1:17 left in the first quarter actually gave him two more points than the entire New Orleans team as the Suns raced to a 46-22 lead.

In Phoenix’s 123-109 road victory over New Orleans on Jan. 19, Booker also rang up 52 points, including 25 in the first quarter. His 24-point outburst in the first quarter Monday night gave him 76 points in his previous five quarters against the Pelicans.

Booker finished the first half with 37 points on 14-of-19 shooting, including 6-of-10 from long range, as Phoenix built a 74-54 lead on 57.4% shooting from the field. The Suns made 13 of 25 3-pointers in the half.

The Suns built a wall around Zion Williamson on defense, and the Pelicans’ leading scorer didn’t take his first shot until late in the first quarter. Williamson finished with 30 points and five assists. Trey Murphy III added 21 points for New Orleans.

Booker extended his incredible streak against New Orleans. In a 118-114 victory over the Pelicans on Dec. 17, 2022, Booker scored 58 points, the fourth-highest single-game total of his 10-year NBA career. Booker has eight 50-plus scoring games in his career.



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NEXT SCHEDULE

Suns: Host Cleveland on Wednesday night.

Pelicans: Host Orlando on Wednesday night.





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