West Notes: Suns, Devin Booker, Pelicans, Grizzlies


Coach Frank Vogel said he was in awe watching Devin Booker light up the Pelicans for 52 points yet again, in perhaps the NBA game of the night on Monday.Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns, NBA

“There’s something about playing in this building against this opponent,” Vogel told reporters. “(He) just really has a comfort zone here. To go for 50 three straight times against a single opponent … just shows what kind of special player he is. Three times in a row is just incredible.”

  • Star forward Kevin Durant added that the Suns made a more concerted effort to make sure Booker got the ball. “It was like deja vu,” Durant said. “As it was happening, I couldn’t believe he was doing it again.”
  • Our Ashish Mathur has much more on Booker, and how he now resides in the same sentence as Wilt Chamberlain, right here. Booker has eight 50-plus scoring games in his career overall.


Coach Willie Green said there was no excuse for allowing Booker to go nuts against the Pelicans, especially given they already knew what he could do against them.

“He hit some shots that we gave him, and he also hit some tough shots,” Green told the media. “We have to do better. I mean, there’s no excuse to get 50, put on you twice (in a season). Quite frankly, we were soft guarding him. We just had a soft mentality when it came to being physical with him, and he’s a great player, and you can’t allow him to be comfortable.”

  • Added forward Trey Murphy III: “He hit some tough shots, but I think we contributed to it a little as well.”
  • The Pelicans (45-30) entered Tuesday as the sixth seed in the Western Conference, which is the last seed when the goal is to avoid the play-in tournament. But man are things ever tight.


Coach Taylor Jenkins suggested big man Jaren Jackson Jr. has found another level since moving from power forward to center. Jackson dropped 40 in the Grizzlies’ road win over the Pistons on Monday.

“JJ was phenomenal tonight,” Jenkins said. “Not just 40 points, but he was playing downhill and getting to the line. It is really impressive what he’s done since probably the middle of January, when we made the change.”

  • Per the Michael Wallace of the Grizzlies website: “Jackson, the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has been one of the few constants during a season in which Memphis set NBA records for roster attrition forced by injuries. The Grizzlies are approaching nearly 500 combined games missed this season to player injuries. They have used 45 different starting lineups and had 31 different players appear in at least one game.”

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