Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns celebrates as he scores a basket against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Arena on October 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images


  • The Phoenix Suns showcased flashes of greatness that awaits the NBA this season
  • Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Josh Okogie combined for 80 points
  • "The one thing you want to do is not disappoint [Kevin Durant]," says Eddie Johnson in the postgame

The Phoenix Suns entered their second to the last game before the All-Star break this weekend with a ton of energy and came away with a hard-fought 120-109 victory over the Sacramento Kings, and the team appears to be firing on all cylinders.

Their first game back home after a five-game road trip featured the first-ever home introduction of Kevin Durant and his presence on the bench was summed up perfectly by Bally Sports Arizona play-by-play analyst Eddie Johnson.

"When you have great players watching you play and you're playing well, you're gonna be energized and that's the key thing. The one thing you want to do is not disappoint [Kevin Durant]; for them to feel like they do not have to feel like they have to carry everything," he mentioned in the postgame.

It certainly appeared that way as the Suns kept the Kings at bay for the better part of the game.

Star guard Devin Booker was extremely effective in his 29 minutes of playing time as he dropped a team-high 32 points while making 13 of his 20 attempts alongside five rebounds, two assists, and two steals for a team-high in plus-minus of 22.

Deandre Ayton stuffed the stat sheet with 29 points on 13-of-17 shooting and ended up with a double-double thanks to 11 crucial rebounds plus four steals and two blocks for a plus-minus of 21.

The Bahamian big man's presence inside the paint certainly bothered Domantas Sabonis as he was limited to 24 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists which forced De'Aaron Fox to step up offensively as he dropped 35 points of his own.

Josh Okogie extended his bid for the starting forward role when Durant inevitably made his Suns debut with an all-around performance that saw him score an efficient 19 points while providing tough-nosed defense against the Kings' wings.

All-time great point guard Chris Paul also threw in his hat for the Suns' best performer with an eye-watering double-double of 17 points and 19 assists as he repeatedly fed the ball to the aforementioned Suns players.

Newly acquired forward T.J. Warren also made his first-ever appearance in a Suns jersey since being traded in the 2019 offseason to the Indiana Pacers for cash considerations, adding five points in seven minutes.

As Johnson noted, the Suns were on their A-game for this one as Durant closely watched his new teammates from the bench while also providing some guidance during timeouts.

Should the Suns continue to roll like this the rest of the way and with Durant on the floor, it would not be surprising to see them become the favorites to win the NBA title this time around.

The Suns' win puts them ever closer to upending the Kings on the standings as they are now only one game behind their fellow Pacific Division franchise and remain a pristine 9-0 record against teams in the same division.

When things are clicking for the Suns, they look extremely good on both ends of the floor despite not having played the defensive-oriented Darius Bazley due to everyone that head coach Monty Williams elected to play being effective.

As it has been for "The Valley" this season, consistency down the stretch will dictate how far this team can go and whether it finally ends the franchise's long odyssey for a Larry O'Brien trophy.

Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns
Deandre Ayton #22 and Bismack Biyombo #18 of the Phoenix Suns celebrate after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA game at Footprint Center on October 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 107-105. Christian Petersen/Getty Images