Monday, April 22

Pelicans coach talks defending Suns, Devin Booker at point guard

Willie Green knows Devin Booker’s vast skill set all too well after he worked as the Suns lead assistant coach for two seasons.

The New Orleans Pelicans (23-36) first-year head coach wasn’t surprised Booker staged one of his career-best performances in the Suns’ 124-104 win at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. He replaced the injured Chris Paul at point guard.

In the Suns’ eighth consecutive victory — their first game since the All-Star break without Paul — Booker had team-best 25 points on 56% shooting, season-high 12 assists, career-high six steals, five rebounds, and a plus -minus of 26.

Booker made history as the first Suns player to reach those figures in points, assists, steals, and rebounds in a game.

That was his third double-double this season, and first this season by assists.

Green praised Booker in the pregame media session before the Pelicans faced Phoenix’s second of their back-to-back game on Friday, also the first of the Suns’ four-game homestand.

Devin BookerWillie Green

“He’s grown a ton and I’m extremely proud of him,” Green said. “The player, the person that he is, seeing him lead his team, becoming the leader, the player that we all knew he had the potential to be and now it’s all coming together for him. I’m super happy.”

Booker has some experience playing point guard earlier in his career before the Suns (49-10) traded for Paul in November 2020.

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