Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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NBA Preview: Phoenix Suns (34-29) at Chicago Bulls (29-34)

During Kevin Durant’s acclaimed Phoenix Suns debut, Devin Booker gleefully stole the spotlight.

Booker hopes for a comeback on Friday, when the Phoenix Suns face the Chicago Bulls to continue their road trip.

On Wednesday, Booker led Phoenix to a 105-91 victory over the Charlotte Hornets with 37 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. The Suns recorded their 13th win in their last 18 games thanks to the three-time All-Star’s 15 of 26 field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and Deandre Ayton’s 16 points and 16 rebounds.

In his first game since being acquired from the Brooklyn Nets last month, Durant scored 23 points. In his first game since suffering a right MCL sprain on Jan. 8, the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player and 13-time All-Star made 10 of 15 shots from the floor and showed no signs of slowing down.

As he made his comeback from injury, Durant was restricted in time, and if coach Monty Williams decides to err on the side of caution, he could miss Friday’s game. The Suns play their final four games on Sunday in Dallas, which would be Durant’s chance to see Kyrie Irving, his former Nets teammate.

In a victory over the Bulls on November 30, Phoenix prevailed 132-113. Ayton finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, while Booker scored 51 points in the first three quarters before sitting out the fourth.

In Chicago’s 117-115 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, Zach LaVine, who scored 21 points in that game, came off the bench to score 41 points. The two-time All-Star missed all seven free throw attempts and shot 14 of 20 shots, including 6 of 9 attempts from three-point range, to fall two points short of his season-high total.

LaVine hit a three-pointer late in the third quarter to increase the Bulls’ lead to 100-79. However, Chicago capitalized on the Pistons’ inability to call a timeout in the final minutes of the fourth after seeing its advantage nearly evaporate.

Even though the Bulls won for the third time in four games after a six-game skid that was the longest of the season, coach Billy Donovan expressed concern for his team.

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