Suns insider Scott Bordow breaks down Phoenix's loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
Suns interim head coach Jay Triano discusses his team's loss to the Warriors on Saturday.
Suns rookie Josh Jackson discusses his career night in Phoenix's loss to the depleted Warriors on Saturday.
Suns guard Devin Booker speaks to the media following Thursday's loss to the Jazz.
Suns interim coach Jay Triano breaks down Thursday's loss to Utah.
Suns insider Scott Bordow discusses the Suns' loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday, as well as candid comments from Devin Booker and Troy Daniels.
Suns coach Jay Triano discusses his team's loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Tuesday.
Suns rookie Josh Jackson discusses facing LeBron James and the Cavaliers in a loss on Tuesday.
Talking Stick Resort Arena saw lots of early arriving fans on Tuesday as the Suns host the Cavaliers in Phoenix.
Triano: "Seven guys in double figures is pretty good for us." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Reed: "It felt like good basketball out there." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Suns interim coach Jay Triano on Thursday's loss to the Thunder.
Suns guard Devin Booker discusses Thursday's loss to the Thunder
Suns insider Scott Bordow breaks down Phoenix's loss to the Heat on Monday in Miami.
Suns forward T.J. Warren discusses Phoenix's loss to the Heat in Miami on Monday.
Suns interim head coach Jay Triano discusses his team's loss to the Heat in Miami on Monday.
Triano: Suns got shot they wanted at end of game, but wasn't ideal execution Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Jackson: "He got in my face, had a couple words and I just pushed him." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Bordow: Suns coaches and players aren't trying to lose, but they're not good enough to win Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Booker: "No moral victories, but it is looking better." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Triano: "I don't know if our guys are used to playing at that level for that long period of time." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Bordow: Suns couldn't overcome Russell Westbrook's late-game tear Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
azcentral sports' Scott Bordow and Jay Dieffenbach discuss the latest with the Phoenix Suns in our Shot Clock video.
Suns insider Scott Bordow recaps the Suns' win over the Grizzlies in Memphis on Wednesday.
Suns rookie Josh Jackson discusses his team's win over the Grizzlies in Memphis on Wednesday.
Head coach Jay Triano discusses his team's first win in February against the Grizzlies in Memphis on Wednesday.
azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Greg Moore try to figure out who's the next Suns coach and more in our Shot Clock video.
Suns guard Devin Booker discusses Anthony Davis' performance and Phoenix's fight in the Suns' loss to the Pelicans on Monday.
Suns coach Jay Triano discusses his team's loss to Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Monday.
Suns guard Troy Daniels discusses his team's loss to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Suns interim head coach Jay Triano discusses his team's loss to the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Suns insider Scott Bordow breaks down the Suns' buzzer-beating loss to Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Suns insider Scott Bordow on a blowout loss to the Clippers on Friday.
Suns guard Devin Booker discusses his team's loss to the Clippers on Friday.
azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss what to watch during the final 23 games of the Phoenix Suns' season in our Shot Clock video.
azcentral sports Jay Dieffenbach and Scott Bordow break down what to watch for the Suns for the rest of the NBA season.
Suns guard Devin Booker discusses the Suns' fight in a loss in Utah and his return to the lineup after four games on Wednesday.
Suns coach Jay Triano discusses Devin Booker's return to the lineup and the Suns' effort in a loss to the Jazz on Wednesday.
Suns insider Scott Bordow discusses the Suns' tight loss to the Jazz in Utah on Wednesday.
azcentral sports' Scott Bordow has an update after Suns practice in Salt Lake City as the team prepares to face the Jazz.
Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the state of the Phoenix Suns in our Shot Clock video.
Suns guard Troy Daniels on Warriors coach Steve Kerr letting his players call the plays against the Suns on Wednesday: "It's disrespectful."
Suns coach Jay Triano talks about how Warriors coach Steve Kerr explained to him why he was having his players coach against the Suns on Monday.
azcentral sports Suns insider Scott Bordow breaks down the Suns' loss to the Warriors on Monday.
Triano praised Payton's pace and ball distribution Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Payton: "It was a little crazy (playing without a practice or shootaround)." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Bordow: PG play of Elfrid Payton was impressive in spite of loss Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Short-handed Suns only have two point guards available for the game Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Suns GM Ryan McDonough introduces Elfrid Payton as the team comes into the last 26 games of the season. Video by Patrick Breen/azcentral.com
Members of the Phoenix Suns helped out with a Southwest Airlines flight on Friday.
Payton to start? Also, Booker still out Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
azcentral sports' Jay Dieffenbach and Scott Bordow discuss the Suns and the NBA trade deadline in our Shot Clock video.
azcentral sports' Scott Bordow takes a look at the trade that brought Elfrid Payton to Phoenix from Orlando and what it means.
Suns insider Scott Bordow on the a record-tying loss to the Spurs on Wednesday night.
Suns forward Jared Dudley discusses a blowout loss to the Spurs on Wednesday.
Suns interim coach Jay Triano addresses Isaiah Canaan's gruesome ankle injury Wednesday.
Scott Bordow from azcentral sports talks about Isaiah Canaan's gruesome injury and what comes next for the Phoenix Suns. Scott Bordow/ azcentral sports
Triano: "We have a lot of talent in the locker room tonight." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Reed: "Felt good to get out and run." Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Depleted Suns lose 5th-straight game Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Greg Moore and Mark Faller talk Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks leading the Cardinals and Phoenix Suns Devin Booker needing to prove he's good enough for all star, all in today's Shot Clock. Diana Payan/ azcentral sports
Former Suns star Charles Barkley on Donald Trump's comments: 'I just felt sadness'
Archie Bradley discusses being a member of the community Scott Bordow/azcentral sports
Suns interim coach Jay Triano explains how Tyson Chandler was allowed to score with 0.4 seconds left on an alley-oop dunk from an inbounds pass to beat the Grizzlies on Tuesday.
Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe discusses his former team ahead of the Suns vs. Bucks game on Wednesday.
Devin Booker discusses an incident with a Lakers coach late in Monday's loss to Los Angeles.
azcentral sports' Chris Cole talks to Suns fans outside of Talking Stick Resort Arena before Phoenix's season opener on Wednesday. Yihyun Jeong/azcentral sports
- Bordow recaps Suns' loss to Warriors
- Jay Triano on Suns' loss to Warriors
- Josh Jackson on career night in loss to Warriors
- Booker after Suns' loss to Jazz
- Triano on Suns' loss to Jazz
- Scott Bordow on Suns' loss to James, Cavs
- Jay Triano on Suns' loss to LeBron, Cavaliers
- Josh Jackson on Suns' loss to Cavaliers
- Fans arrive early to Cavaliers shootaround in Phoenix
- Jay Triano on Suns's loss to Hornets
- Suns' Davon Reed on his first extended minutes
- Triano on Suns' loss to Thunder
- Booker on Suns' loss to Thunder
- Scott Bordow on Suns' loss to Heat
- T.J. Warren on Suns' loss to Heat
- Jay Triano on Suns' loss to Heat
- Jay Triano on Suns' loss to Hawks
- Josh Jackson on altercation with Hawks' Taurean Prince
- Bordow on Suns' loss to Hawks
- Devin Booker on Suns' loss to Thunder
- Jay Triano on Suns' loss to Thunder
- Scott Bordow on Suns' loss to Thunder
- Shot Clock video: Suns no soup-throwers
- Scott Bordow recaps Suns' win over Grizzlies
- Josh Jackson on Suns snapping losing streak
- Jay Triano on Suns' 1st February win
- Shot Clock: Big choices loom for Suns, Wildcats
- Booker on Anthony Davis, Suns' fight in loss
- Triano on Suns' loss to Pelicans
- Troy Daniels on Suns' loss to Trail Blazers
- Jay Triano on Suns' loss to Trail Blazers
- Scott Bordow on Suns' loss to Lillard, Blazers
- Bordow on Suns' loss to Clippers
- Devin Booker on Suns' loss to Clippers
- Suns have company in race for No. 1 draft pick
- Shot Clock: Burning questions for rest of Suns season
- Devin Booker on Suns' loss, return to lineup
- Jay Triano on Booker's return, Suns' effort
- Scott Bordow on Suns' close loss to Jazz
- Suns move on from bad loss vs. Warriors
- Shot Clock: Suns' disrespect deserved?
- Troy Daniels on Warriors players calling plays: 'It's disrespectful'
- Triano on Steve Kerr: 'He explained that it wasn't (disrespectful)'
- Scott Bordow on Suns' loss to Warriors
- Jay Triano on Elfrid Payton's debut for the Suns
- Elfrid Payton on his debut with Suns
- Scott Bordow on Suns' loss to Nuggets
- Scott Bordow previews Suns-Nuggets game
- Suns introduce point guard Elfrid Payton
- Suns help passengers board Southwest flight
- Scott Bordow on Suns' acquisition of Elfrid Payton
- Shot Clock: Suns' good deal; Cavs back on top?
- Elfrid Payton trade analysis: No-risk deal for Suns
- Bordow on Suns' record-tying loss
- Dudley on Suns' blowout loss to Spurs
- Triano on Canaan's injury
- Bordow on Canaan's injury
- Triano on depleted Suns loss to Grizzles
- Davon Reed on getting extended playing time
- Scott Bordow on Suns loss to Grizzlies
- Shot Clock: Devin Booker missing All-Star cut is OK
- Charles Barkley on Suns career, Trump comments
- Scott Bordow with Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley before Suns-Rockets
- Jay Triano on Suns' game-winning play
- Eric Bledsoe discusses trade from Suns
- Devin Booker on incident with Lakers coach
- Suns fans: What do they know? Do they know things?? Let's find out
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia center Joel Embiid and guard J.J. Reddick closed in on Devin Booker, their double team meant to get the ball out of Booker’s hands.
Booker had other ideas.
He dribbled right around Embiid, losing Reddick in the process and rose up for a two-handed dunk that gave the Suns a 17-point lead and caused Dragan Bender to leap up from the bench with a “that was dirty” look on his face.
By the end of Phoenix’s improbable 115-101 victory over the 76ers Monday at Wells Fargo Center, Booker had a lot of Philadelphia fans making faces. He scored a season-high 46 points, just the second time in his career he’s eclipsed the 40-point mark, the first of course, being his 70-point explosion in Boston last March.
That, after making just 2 of 11 shots in the first quarter.
“I’ve been in the league for a long time and when you see special you know it,” center Tyson Chandler said. “And this kid is special. He’s going to be special for a long time.”
It’s hardly a stretch to say this was Phoenix’s best win of the season, the only comparable being the six-point road victory over Washington on Nov. 1. On the fifth game of an 11-day, six-game road trip, the Suns beat a Sixers team that has two of the league’s best young players in Embiid and point guard Ben Simmons and, incredibly, never trailed after the first quarter.
“After that performance in Boston (a 116-111 loss Sunday) we came up short but I think it lit a fire under us,” Booker said.
Booker will get the headlines and rightfully so. He scored 42 points in the final three quarters, making 15 of 21 shots. His 10 games of 30-plus points this season are the most in franchise history through 25 games and only he, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James have scored 30 points at least 10 times this season.
“We saw it when he had that 70,” interim coach Jay Triano said. “He gets that look. It doesn’t matter how closely you guard him, it doesn’t matter who guards him. He just finds a way to create space and be electric.”
Or as Josh Jackson put it, “There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing you can do at all.”
But Booker doesn’t win the game for the Suns without some help. He got it from point guard Tyler Ulis, who had his first double-double of the season with 12 points and a season-high 12 assists. He got it from sidekick T.J. Warren, who scored 25 points with eight rebounds and three assists. He got it from a Philadelphia team that made just 7 of 30 3-point point shots.
Most notably, he got it from the defense Chandler and Alex Len played on Embiid and the challenge Jackson accepted in covering Simmons.
Embiid got his numbers, scoring 22 points with 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, but he made just seven of 18 shots as Len and Chandler, in particular, made him labor for every point.
“He’s one of the most skilled bigs I’ve seen in this league,” Chandler said. “I knew I had to just make it difficult for him. I knew for us to have any chance I had to make him work.”
Triano, understanding the 5-foot-10 Ulis and 6-foot Mike James would have no chance at guarding the 6-foot-10 Simmons, switched his defensive assignments, putting his point guards on Reddick and Jerryd Bayless while Warren and Jackson took turns guarding Simmons.
Simmons filled up the box score – 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals – but as strange as it sounds with those numbers, he didn’t dominate the game and in the second half scored just eight points on 3-of-8 shooting. Credit Jackson, who got into Simmons and had the quickness to recover defensively if Simmons got by him.
“Defense was key,” Triano said. “We made their best players feel a little uncomfortable. They still put up good numbers, they’re still great players but I thought we made them work for everything they got.”
The Sixers tried to do the same to Booker. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown ran multiple defenders at Booker, changed his pick-and-roll defense, tried to trap Booker and double him in the post.
None of it mattered.
Whenever Philadelphia made a run, Booker answered. After the Sixers cut the Suns’ lead to seven points late in the third quarter, Booker responded with seven points in the final 32 seconds to extend Phoenix’s advantage to 10. When Philadelphia got within five with 4:49 remaining, Booker scored eight points in an 11-0 Phoenix run that sealed the game.
Booker had 19 points in the fourth quarter. Philadelphia had 22.
So much for a slow start.
“Like I said, shooters never stop shooting,” Booker said. “I’ve been living with that motto since I was 3 years old.”