Phoenix opened their regular season schedule by posting a win against the Dallas Mavericks at home in Talking Stick Resort Arena. It was the much-anticipated NBA debut of number one overall pick Deandre Ayton. It was also the first time the Suns’ newly crowned franchise player Devin Booker had a chance to play meaningful minutes after undergoing hand surgery last season. Up by double digits late in the game, the Mavericks rallied for a comeback. Then, Booker took over.
Deandre Ayton did not disappoint in his NBA debut. He showed flashes of play-making ability and seemed comfortable on the court in his first game. He finished shooting 8 for 11, scoring 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 6 assists. Ayton outplayed fellow highly touted rookie Luka Doncic.
Booker Came to Play
In the fourth quarter, the Mavs were making a comeback, cutting the Suns’ lead from 16 to just 4. That’s when the $158 million man decided to earn some of his contract. Booker caught fire, making four threes, a three point play, a layup cutting to the rim and a couple of free throws for good measure. This is exactly why the Suns’ brass decided Booker was well worth a max contract this summer.
New head coach Igor Kokoskov wasn’t surprised at all by the young guard’s explosive fourth quarter play.
“I’m not surprised. Suns fans are not surprised,” Kokoskov said. “That’s who he is.”
Booker downplayed his heroics after the game, saying he just caught a rhythm.
This was a nice first victory for the young Suns. They had some lapses, but managed to come back to finish the game in the end. In the highly competitive Western Conference, these young Suns are out to prove something, and they may just be closer than many think.