NBA

Durant on Suns team-mate Booker: 'He can do everything at an elite level'

By Sports Desk April 19, 2023

Kevin Durant said Devin Booker "can do everything at an elite level" after scoring 38 points on 64 per cent shooting in the Phoenix Suns' first round playoffs Game 2 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Booker was in scintillating form, making 14-of-22 from the field including four-of-seven from the beyond the arc, with nine assists as the Suns triumphed 123-109 to level the series after two games at Footprint Center in Arizona.

Durant contributed 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting with five assists, but was quick to praise his team-mate.

"He's an all-around player," Durant told reporters about Booker. "He can do everything at an elite level on a basketball court."

Booker's display came after a minor dip in offensive output late in the regular season where he averaged 24 points in their final six games, failing to have any 30-point games during that stretch.

Suns head coach Monty Williams insisted he was never worried about Booker's form and added to the praise.

"Book scores in a number of ways and when he's going like that, I think the team feeds off his high level play," Williams told reporters.

Booker scored or assisted 28 of the Suns' 33 third-quarter points as they pulled clear after scores were locked 59-59 at half-time.

"I was planning on taking him out the first two minutes of the fourth, then he got going, and then I said 'one more play', then 'one more play' and he kept hitting shots, so I just let him go," Williams said.

"When he's attacking like that, knocking down big shots from outside it just keeps everybody off balance."

Game 2 was Phoenix's ninth win from 10 games with Durant in the side, having been traded in from the Brooklyn Nets in February.

Williams added: "I thought the spacing was a lot better. Just having the balance of [Booker] and Kevin being able to get to their spots with a live ball helps. I thought Chris [Paul] did a really good job of putting the ball in Book's hands and saying 'you go'."

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