Booker extends the streak and the dream is more and more real

The point guard signed 35 points, 17 of them in the third quarter, and remains undefeated for Williams' men. They manage to win 6 consecutive games for the first time since 2014.


An almost unrealizable dream. The Suns were presented to the bubble with the difficult, or impossible, mission of winning a high number of the 8 games that Monty Williams' men had to face and expecting results. After the dispute of 6 of them, the miracle is more and more real. 6 of 6 and half a game for the Blazers. Those from Arizona have known how to fish in troubled rivers and take advantage of the disastrous career so far of the Grizzlies or Pelicans, as well as the irregular trajectory of other candidates such as Spurs or Blazers.

The sixth stone on the way was an Oklahoma City Thunder who entered the game without 4 of the 5 starters before the suspension of the competition, Schröder out of the bubble for personal reasons, and with the ticket to the playoffs taken long ago . Although Chris Paul was the only first sword that Donovan presented, the Suns had a hard time getting into the game. An alarming lack of defensive intensity, largely due to Ayton's sensitive start loss, added to the success of players such as Bazley or Muscala and the correct direction of the game by Paul or to the exterior mistake of Williams' men, put against the ropes to some Suns who finished the first quarter 14 points on the scoreboard.

The reaction was immediate and a superb second and third quarter allowed the Suns to rest their first unit for the next game, which they will play this Tuesday against the Sixers who have their two great banners in the infirmary, such as Embiid and Simmons. The second quarter was that of Ayton's appearance. The controversy for skipping the coronavirus tests was left behind and the Bahamas-born center came out to eat the Thunder in the paint, which greatly accused the absence of Adams, and it barely took 50 seconds to be noticed by capturing the first rebound in defense.

The connection with Ricky, added to the appearance of Johnson or Carter from outside and a Booker who was beginning to look at the rim further from the personnel line brought some Suns that did not finish ahead on the scoreboard due to fleeting appearances from the outside Bazley, who took over after Donovan sent Paul to the bench. Ayton and Booker led in the last 1:30 of the first half the last quarter that would open the doors of the lead on the scoreboard to the Suns. 5-0 and one up at half-time.

A tremendously tight score that presaged that in the second half the Suns should demonstrate their physical power and the lack of minutes in the bulk of Donovan's roster to add the sixth consecutive win. An overwhelming start, going from 1 to 12 points ahead on the scoreboard in less than 4 minutes of play, changed the plans of the Oklahomans who ended up delivering the game too early.

Ricky resurfaced, who finished 7 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists was not far from the double-double, bringing freshness and intelligence to the direction of the Williams team, but without a doubt the name of the third quarter was Devin Booker. 17 points, to finish the game with 35 and acquiring the license to watch the last quarter from the bench. The Michigan point guard finished the game with a more than 50% shooting from the field and showed enormous scoring ability from the outside line, with memorable 3s, and from the personnel line, scoring all 14 shots he fired.

Beyond the offensive success of the Suns, the Thunder stayed in the third quarter in 17 points, demonstrating an enormous offensive poverty without the direction of Chris Paul and their imperative need for the insiders to generate pick & rolls. That lack of ideas. It was also fueled by a defensive intensity from the Arizona team that left the Thunder at 1 of 13 from the field and 3 of 11 from outside, chillingly low numbers.

The third quarter ended with a 17-point advantage for the Suns and the lack of sporting interests in Donovan's and the urgency of the next game led both coaches to give opportunities to the less usual. Names like Lecque or Diallo in the Suns or Hervey in the Thunder had the opportunity to show themselves in a quarter that ended up becoming a scorers' duel between Bridges in the Suns and Nader and Bazley in the Thunder.

With this victory, the Suns overtook the Spurs and get halfway through the Blazers and one of the Grizzlies. The fight for the eighth and ninth has been between them three and some Spurs, who are now tied with the Suns but with a worse percentage. The Sixers, in just 24 hours, will be the next opponent to overcome by Booker, Ricky, Ayton and company. Those from Philadelphia, with nothing at stake and with the sixth place in the East assured, should not be a difficult test to pass, especially with the absences of Simmons and Embiid. 10 years later, the dream of the playoffs is getting closer and closer.

That game will be at 10:30 p.m., before the Spurs will take to the court (8:00 p.m.) to face the Rockets, while half an hour later than the Suns the Grizzlies will face the Celtics. The decisive Tuesday in the West will be completed at dawn (00:30) with the duel between Mavericks and Blazers. For their part, the Thunder will have a rest until dawn from Wednesday to Thursday, when they will face the Heat, in a new game conducive to rotations and try to reserve the first swords for the playoffs that will start the next monday

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