Booker drops 52, lifts Suns over Pelicans

Booker drops 52, lifts Suns over Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS -- Devin Booker scored 52 points, the fifth-highest scoring game of his career, to power the Phoenix Suns to a 124-111 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, bringing them within a game of the Pelicans for the No. 6 playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Rebounding from a 128-103 loss to Oklahoma City on Friday night, the Suns (44-31) inched closer to New Orleans (45-30). The teams play again in Phoenix on April 7, 2024.

Booker became the first NBA player since Wilt Chamberlain to score at least 50 points in three consecutive games against the same opponent.

In addition to his 52-point outburst in Phoenix’s 123-109 victory over New Orleans in the Smoothie King Center on Jan. 19, Booker scored 58 points against New Orleans in a 118-114 home win over the Pelicans on Dec. 12, 2022.

“It means a whole lot,” said Booker, a native of Moss Point, Mississippi, located 110 miles from New Orleans, who had 40 relatives and friends in the stands. “My family was in attendance for two of them. Any time you get named for something Wilt did – it’s happened very few times in my career – you know you did something special.”

Suns coach Frank Vogel said he was in awe watching Booker’s second 52-point game against the Pelicans this year. (AP)

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