Booker Leads Suns to Victory Over Grizzlies



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

Booker Leads Suns to Victory Over Grizzlies
© Getty Images Sport/Zac BonDurant

Devin Booker's return to the court was nothing short of spectacular as he led the Phoenix Suns to a 116-109 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. After missing a game due to a sprained right ankle, Booker showcased his resilience and skill, scoring 34 points along with 10 rebounds and seven assists.

His performance was a crucial factor in the Suns’ win, particularly with a game-changing 3-pointer at the start of the fourth quarter that extended the Suns' lead to 15 points, their largest of the game. Booker’s dedication was evident, as Suns coach Frank Vogel revealed that he had been a game-time decision.

Despite the ankle issue that had sidelined him earlier in the season, Booker played a game-high 37 minutes. “He wanted to play yesterday,” Vogel said. “He played a great game. He is the leader of our offense in terms of organizing us.

It's always tricky when he is out of the game, getting our guys in the right spot”.

Grizzlies' Efforts and Suns' Defensive Strategy

The game also highlighted the Suns' strategic advantage at the free-throw line, where they had a 35-22 edge over the Grizzlies.

This advantage was partly due to the foul trouble faced by Grizzlies starters Jaren Jackson Jr., Desmond Bane, Jaylen Nowell, and Bismack Biyombo, who spent significant time on the bench. Booker acknowledged their approach, saying, “We tried to use our aggressiveness against them”.

Kevin Durant contributed 27 points to the Suns' effort, ending his single-season team record free-throw streak at 67. Jusuf Nurkic, after a season-high 31 points on Friday, added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Suns before fouling out.

On the Grizzlies' side, Jackson led with a season-high 37 points, impressing Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins with his aggression and decision-making. “He’s being aggressive, making the right reads, understanding where his teammates are on the floor and where the double-teams are coming from.

Really impressed with him,” Jenkins said. Despite trailing by as many as 16 points, the Grizzlies closed the gap to six, but critical foul shots by Durant and Yuta Watanabe sealed the game for the Suns. The victory was significant for Phoenix, which had lost its previous two games after a seven-game winning streak.