Suns Fall to Magic Despite Devin Booker’s Offensive Greatness

Despite falling to the Orlando Magic 113 to 98 on January 28, Devin Booker scored over 40 points for the third time in as many games.

The Phoenix Suns star is on an absolute heater offensively, dropping 46 points on only 23 shots against Dallas on January 24, followed by 62 points against Indiana on January 26, and then 44 points against Orlando.

During the three game span, Booker is averaging 50 points, while shooting 66% from the field and 53% from three, yet the Suns have dropped two of those three games.

It is the 30th time Booker has scored 40 or more points in a game in the regular season so far, and the 18th time he has done it while shooting at least 60%.

Best Games of Booker’s Career

When a player has that many high-scoring games in their career, there are a lot of options to choose from. With that being said, below are three of the best scoring performances of Booker’s career so far. This analysis only included regular season games. But, considering Booker has scored 47 points in the playoffs three times, and 40 or more points seven times, an entire list could be dedicated to those games alone.

On March 24, 2017, Booker scored a career-high 70 points in a loss to the Boston Celtics. The masterclass was one of 15 games in NBA history in which a player has scored 70 or more points. Booker had 21 made field goals, including 4 three pointers, to go along with 24 free throws (the most in his career).

On November 30, 2022, Booker scored 51 points in a win over the Chicago Bulls. While the 51 points are only tied for the sixth most in a game by Booker, he accomplished it by only taking 25 shots, shooting an incredible 80% from the field. In fact, the performance was one of the most efficient 50 point games in NBA history, and the only time a player has scored 50 or more points while shooting at least 80% from the field and 85% from three.

In the above mentioned January 26 loss to Indiana, Booker had 62 points, the second highest total of his career, on 59% shooting from the field, 50% shooting from deep, and 92% from the free throw line.

Suns Struggle Despite Booker’s Greatness

While Booker is in the midst of one of the greatest offensive stretches of his career, it hasn’t translated to team success, lately. The suns have dropped two of their last three games, falling to 26-20 on the year.

After their latest loss to the Magic, Booker told Duane Rankin of azcentral that ball security and pace were the main reasons the Suns struggled in the 4th quarter.

“Ball security and pace. The same problems we’ve been having every 4th quarter.” Devin Booker#Suns 7 turnovers in 4th, Bradley Beal 3 in loss at Orlando.

“(#Magic) just reverted to being extra physical and hoping they can’t call every call.”

Booker 44 points, only two in 4th. pic.twitter.com/RwGkW9EprS

— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) January 29, 2024

Booker added that they are the same problems they have been having every fourth quarter. The Suns currently average 3.9 turnovers per game in the 4th quarter, the third worst mark in the league behind the Los Angeles Lakers (4.1) and Utah Jazz (4).

Many, such as DeMarcus Cousins, have clamored recently that the Suns need a true point guard on their roster to help in situations just as the ones Booker alluded to. On a recent episode of his podcast Bully Ball, with Rachel Nichols, Cousins said that a “traditional point guard would help this team tremendously.”

The Suns have won five straight, but @BoogieCousins says they still need a point guard to compete with the NBA’s most elite. Agree? All I can say is that if they do go get a PG, he better be defensive-minded.

🏀 Catch the full episode of Bully Ball wherever you get your podcasts pic.twitter.com/BROzvBpUa7

— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 22, 2024

 

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