Booker, Paul sizzle as Suns overpower handicapped Jazz, extend 6-game win streak

By Ernesto Nodado III

PHOTO: USA Today

Devin Booker and Chris Paul displayed a fused 60-point outing to anchor the Phoenix Suns in stretching their winning spree via 115-109 victory over the depleted Utah Jazz at Footprint Center. 

The backcourt duo from Phoenix took advantage of Utah’s undermanned roster as Booker sizzled with 33 points while Paul was a triple-double shy with season-high 27 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds.

Cameron Johnson also proved to be an offensive threat by chipping in 20 markers, including a 5-of-8  three-point shooting clip.

The Suns capitalized the absence of key pieces in the Jazz rotation especially down the stretch, like the three-time defensive player of the year (DPOY) Rudy Gobert and an all-star in Donovan Mitchell.

This win also led the way for the Suns to their 7th straight win and continued the grind for the best regular-season record with 37-9.

The hometown squad began to seize momentum from the gates with an early 7-0 lead, which then translated to a 31-19 gap after Booker’s trey, while a two-pointer from Danuel House Jr. cut the deficit into ten at the end of the opening salvo, 31-21.

Despite early struggles, the Jazz trimmed the deficit slowly in the second frame until House Jr. buried a two-point shot which marked their first lead of the game, 56-55, before a nip and tucks affair afterward.

The Salt Lake City-based team slightly had the upper hand at the start of the last quarter, 87-85, but the Suns surged back and Paul’s booming trifecta at 9:28 snatched the lead, 96-95, and potentially the game itself, thanks to their 11-0 blast.

Meanwhile, Jordan Clarkson paced the Jazz with 22 markers on a losing effort while Trent Forrest and House Jr. contributed 17 and 14 points respectively.

The Jazz still hasn’t won any games against the Suns for five consecutive occasions since October 29, 2019.

This matchup will carry on to a rematch on January 27, 2022, at 11:00 AM (PH Time) to decide whether it is redemption for the Jazz at their home or a double kill for the Suns.

TIP-INS:

Darius Garland’s only three-pointer delivered big down the stretch to bail out the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 95-93 escape over the rallying New York Knicks at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse Center.

With DeMar DeRozan out, Chicago Bulls tightened their grip until the end after fending off an Oklahoma City Thunder comeback, 111-110, almost spoiling Nikola Vucevic’s double-double performance of 26 points and 15 rebounds at Paycom Center.

New Orleans Pelicans banked on Devonte Graham’s 25-point showing to edge the Indiana Pacers, who have been terrible on the road with a 5-19 record, after a 117-113 win at Smoothie King Center.



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