The Phoenix Suns have somewhat separated themselves in a packed Western Conference, and it looks as though they should be able to clinch a playoff spot. However, with the injury to Kevin Durant, everyone else on the roster needs to be on their A-game.
On Sunday night, they faltered, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder despite an impressive performance from Devin Booker. After the game, Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander spoke about what it was like to guard Booker for stretches during the game.
“You see where you stand amongst the best on both ends of the floor,” Gilgeous-Alexander said of guarding Booker via the Thunder’s official YouTube channel. “That’s what it’s about. Especially if you want to be the best. There’s no way to get to that unless you test yourself in those situations.”
The two stars had an epic duel on Sunday night, but Gilgeous-Alexander was able to get the edge and help earn his team the win. The Thunder star finished the game with 40 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a steal on 12-of-24 shooting from the field.
Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t take a single three, but he lived at the free-throw line, shooting 16-of-19 from the charity stripe.
As for Booker, he also had a monster night but was unable to pick up the win. The Suns star finished the night with 46 points, three rebounds, and one assist on 18-of-28 shooting from the floor and 3-of-7 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.
Monty Williams Discusses Suns’ Wrongdoings
Depsite Booker’s huge night, the Suns got in their own way against the Thunder. After the game, head coach Monty Williams spoke about everything that went wrong for the Suns on Sunday night.
“Yeah, we had control of the game, but the turnovers that led to points and the fouling, that’s a huge separator,” Williams said via the Jump View YouTube channel. “They had more turnovers than us, but they converted. And the fouling is just something that we have to figure out. We have to do a much better job. I mean, Book goes for 46. Chris [Paul] played a solid game. You can look at those numbers and say- we scored 120 points. We have to defend better. Doesn’t matter who’s on the floor. The defensive system hasn’t changed. We have to be able to defend better.”
Monty Williams Provides Kevin Durant Injury Update
As the Suns look ahead to the playoffs, their biggest hope is to get Durant back on the court sooner rather than later. Recent reports indicated that he has begun taking standstill shots again, and Williams provided an update on Durant in tandem with that news.
“It’s just part of his progression,” Williams said via Duane Rankin of AZ Central. “He hasn’t done anything outside of that. We obviously have to not just be careful, but a lot of boxes need to be checked. So we’ll see how he responds to standard shooting today, we’ll re-evaluate tomorrow and every day is a progression. That’s what he’s done. It’s a normal progression to this type of injury and that’s just where he is right now. Now he’s just doing standstill shots.”