Booker’s season-high 48 helps Suns rally past Spurs 121-107

Jan 17, 2022, 5:56 AM | Updated: 9:01 pm
Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of ...

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoots against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Devin Booker had a season-high 48 points and the Phoenix Suns dominated the fourth quarter to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 121-107 Monday night for their fourth straight victory.

Chris Paul added 15 points and 12 assists as Phoenix won its sixth straight on the road and fifth consecutive in San Antonio.

“It’s the benefit of having Chris Paul,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “Chris can read the game. Chris, when he reads it, he’ll just run certain sets that we have to get Book the ball in certain spots. When a guy is rolling like that, you just kind of let him have the ball and space the floor properly.”

Spurs center Jakob Poeltl had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 18 points.

Phoenix arrived in San Antonio after a 135-108 victory in Detroit on Sunday. The Suns started sluggishly against the Spurs, but Booker scored 18 points in the opening quarter to keep the game close.

“I just respect (the Spurs) to the highest level,” Booker said. “I understand the level that they compete at and especially the level that they play at here in San Antonio. I just wanted to be aggressive from the start.”

Booker was 18 for 33 from the field and 5 for 13 on 3-pointers in eclipsing his previous high of 38 points, which he collected twice.

“Shoot, it’s been like that for a while,” Paul said of Booker’s hot start. “I think it’s probably because we’ve got a team that’s so supportive and we enjoy seeing each other do well. So, when we he gets it going like that, we try to feed him and then we still make the right play. For us, it’s all about ultimately winning the game.”

Phoenix was without injured starter Deandre Ayton, but reserve center Bismack Biyombo responded with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

“We needed some rebounding,” Williams said. “They were kicking our butt. Now Jalen (Smith) can rebound, but they had some guys down there that can move you around a little bit. I thought Bis would give us a bit more girth down with Poeltl and Jock Landale.”

Cameron Johnson was also key, scoring four of his eight points in a crucial stretch midway through the final quarter.

Johnson had a steal, which led to a contested layup that gave Phoenix a 103-98 lead with 7:44 remaining. Johnson made two free throws a minute earlier to put the Suns up 99-98.

The Spurs had three turnovers in a two-minute span beginning with Johnson’s steal as the Suns took command late.

Phoenix outscored San Antonio 34-16 in the fourth quarter.

“They’re a very good team,” Spurs forward Keldon Johnson said. “They were in the championship last year. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with some bad turnovers.”

The Spurs had their regular starting lineup together for the first time since Dec. 23. A return to familiarity sparked a fast start, as San Antonio took a 28-20 lead with every starter scoring at least three points.

The Spurs starters all finished in double figures, accounting for 84 points.


Suns: Phoenix’s last loss in San Antonio was Jan. 29, 2019. … Ayton sprained his right ankle Sunday in the first quarter of Phoenix’s 135-108 victory over Detroit. Ayton had six points in eight minutes before exiting. His status is day-to-day. … Johnson returned after a three-game absence due to a sprained left ankle. … The Suns are 21-7 against Western Conference teams, second only to Utah (19-4). … JaVale McGee had six points and eight rebounds while starting in place of Ayton. McGee is averaging 10.2 points and 6.9 rebounds for the Suns.

Spurs: San Antonio assistant Becky Hammon was not at the game after being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols due to COVID-19. … Tre Jones missed his seventh straight game while in the league’s health and safety protocols. … The Spurs are 9-17 against the West. … Bryn Forbes is averaging 13.3 points in his previous 10 games, raising his season average to 9.1 points. The Spurs have seven players averaging double figures this season.


Suns: At Dallas on Thursday.

Spurs: Host Oklahoma City on Wednesday.


More AP NBA: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier ...
Associated Press

Arsenal looking to pile more pressure on Liverpool

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The match at Emirates Stadium on Sunday should prove informative about the prospects of both Arsenal and Liverpool. For Premier League leader Arsenal, it’s the latest test of its ability to mount a credible title challenge against the only team that has managed disrupt Manchester City’s dominance over the past five […]
1 day ago
LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman, left, stands with the 4 Aces GC team, from left, Talor Gooch, Captian Dus...
Associated Press

World ranking rejects last-minute LIV Golf bid for points

The Official World Golf Ranking won’t be awarding points to LIV Golf events this year, denying the MENA Tour’s request to immediately add the Saudi-funded series to its schedule. The OWGR said in a statement Thursday the MENA Tour did not give it sufficient notice and there would not be time to finish the review […]
1 day ago
FILE - Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba takes a knee during the national anthem flanked by Edmonton Oile...
Associated Press

‘It’s not right’: Players want more from NHL against racism

For too long, Matt Dumba felt he was on his own dealing with racial taunts directed at him as a youngster growing up in Saskatchewan. It was no different for Dumba as an adult, one of just a handful of minority players in the National Hockey League. Even in a circle of his fellow players, […]
1 day ago
Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell looks on in the first half of an NCAA college football game agains...
Associated Press

After surge in first-half firings, can seasons be salvaged?

The move was shocking for its timing and memorable for its location. Lane Kiffin was fired by Southern California on Sept. 29, 2013, just five games into the season, on the airport tarmac after the team plane returned home from Arizona State. While not unprecedented, such an early coaching change was rare and a harbinger […]
1 day ago
FILE - Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, speaks during a news conference in Chica...
Associated Press

Brittney Griner at ‘weakest moment’ in Russia, her wife says

WASHINGTON (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner is at her “absolute weakest moment in life right now” as she faces a hearing in Russia later this month for her appeal of a nine-year prison sentence for drug possession, Griner’s wife said in an interview aired Thursday. Cherelle Griner told “CBS Mornings” that her wife, a […]
1 day ago
Manchester City's Kyle Walker, left, challenges for the ball with Manchester United's Tyrell Malaci...
Associated Press

Kyle Walker in doubt for World Cup after groin surgery

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — England defender Kyle Walker is in doubt for this year’s World Cup after undergoing groin surgery this week. The Manchester City player sustained the injury in the win 6-3 over Manchester United on Sunday. He was taken off the field in the 41st minute. “As players we have to appreciate injuries […]
1 day ago
Booker’s season-high 48 helps Suns rally past Spurs 121-107