Devin Booker made Phoenix Suns history with 44 points in the Phoenix Suns' 132-101 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, where Kevin Durant's anticipated home debut was delayed due to an ankle injury.
Durant had been named in the Suns' starting line-up but suffered an ankle sprain during the warm-ups and was ruled out of the game on Wednesday at the Footprint Center.
In Durant's absence, Booker put on a show, becoming the first player in franchise history with four straight 35-point games.
Booker finished with 44 points on 17-of-23 shooting from the field, making six-of-10 from beyond the arc in a masterful display from only 28 minutes on court, checking out in the fourth quarter.
The Suns guard had 30 points by half-time in the blowout win which gave fourth-placed Phoenix a cushion on the chasing pack for the Western Conference playoffs spots.
Veteran guard Chris Paul added 18 points with nine assists and four steals, while Terrence Ross scored 24 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
For the Thunder, Lindy Waters III top scored off the bench with 23 points including six three-pointers, while Josh Giddey had 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
Devin Booker's past 4 games:— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) March 9, 2023
3/1 - 37 PTS
3/3 - 35 PTS
3/5 - 36 PTS
3/8 - 44 PTS pic.twitter.com/hGqgmVg6vE
Doncic injured as Mavs lose to Pels
The Dallas Mavericks lost Luka Doncic to injury as their defensive struggles continued with a 113-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, who are still without star center Zion Williamson.
The Mavs slipped to eighth in the west with the defeat and will be sweating on Doncic's fitness, exiting in the third quarter with a strained left thigh after 15 points and eight assists.
C.J. McCollum landed six-of-eight three-point attempts in his 32 points for the Pels, who made 13-of-27 from beyond the arc, compared to Dallas' 16-of-46.
Luka Dončić (left thigh strain) will not return to tonight’s game in New Orleans.— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) March 9, 2023
Hawks triumph despite Porzingis career-high
Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 43 points, but it was not enough as the Washington Wizards lost 122-120 to the Atlanta Hawks.
De'Andre Hunter's go-ahead three-point play with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter settled the tight win, as new Hawks head coach Quin Snyder saw his side improve to 33-33.
Atlanta guard Trae Young scored 28 points with 10 assists and three steals, while Porzingis was outstanding, shooting 17-of-22 from the field including seven-of-10 from three-point range.
YESSIR Dre pic.twitter.com/9jvbIA7fNe— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 9, 2023