In what is now a sort of running joke, Phoenix Suns point guard Devin Booker missed the team’s last matchup with a toe injury. The injury didn’t happen on the court, but in his hotel room before the team’s game against the Clippers on November 28th.
“I stubbed it in my hotel room,” Booker told azcentral.com. “Kicked it into the bed. Worst I ever have.”
Booker is set to Play Against the Lakers
Though the injury is a bit silly–Booker called it “childish”–at least it wasn’t more serious. He only missed one game and is set to play in tonight’s game against LeBron and the Lakers.
He looked more than okay as he nailed this halfcourt shot during the team’s practice yesterday:
Though the Phoenix Suns are currently sitting at the very bottom of the Western Conference–their record is an abysmal 4-18–Devin Booker is a standout. The fourth-year player is averaging 24.5 points per game, along with 3.7 rebounds and 7 assists.
TJ Warren is Doubtful for Tonight with a Left Knee Sprain
Though the Suns will have Booker back in the lineup, they’ll likely be missing a different key player in TJ Warren. Warren, who has a sprained left knee, missed Friday’s game against the Magic and typically contributes about 17 points per game for the Phoenix team.
With the Lakers looking to extend their win streak to three and the Suns simply trying to claw out wins where they can, it’ll be a tough matchup tonight without Warren. That being said, center Deandre Ayton will play, and he’s been putting up consistent numbers for the Suns. He’s averaging 16.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
Suns are Struggling to Finish out Games
Despite holding a fourth-quarter lead in four of their last six games, the Suns have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight. The fact that they can’t get a win is sometimes baffling considering the level of talent in players like Booker, Warren, and Ayton.
Ayton himself expressed frustration at the team’s recent struggles. “We’ve just got to finish out these games,” Ayton said after the loss to Orlando. “Sometimes I wonder, ‘How did we lose?’ It feels like everybody’s competing, but I try to go back and look at some of the numbers, it’s kind of confusing because I know everybody was playing hard. … But we still lose.”
Lakers will have the home court advantage today, and they’re a team that very much looked like it had found its identity throughout November. After going 3-5 in October, they bounced back to go 10-4 in November after a few flashy team performances typically spearheaded by, of course, LeBron James. The team also acquired veteran center Tyson Chandler in November, which gave them an additional X-factor on the defensive end.
The two teams will face off today at 12:30 pm PST.