PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker had a season-high 51 points in just three quarters, Deandre Ayton had 30 points and 16 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns extended their winning streak to six games with a 132-113 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night .
Booker scored 25 points in the first half and had 26 more in a great third quarter. After a contested 3-pointer flew through the net, “MVP! MVP!” Chants erupted throughout Footprint Arena and the 26-year-old is certainly an early-season case.
The two-time All-Star had a steal late in the third before sprinting down and flushing home a dunk for his 50th and 51st points. He added six assists and four rebounds.
He didn’t play in the fourth quarter as the Suns held a healthy lead.
Even more notable than Booker’s overall score was his efficiency. He shot 20 of 25 from the field and walked 6 of 7 from 3-point range. He is the second player in the last 25 years with 50 points and 80% shooting through the first three quarters of a game, according to ESPN Stats and Info in 2017 to James Harden.
It was Booker’s second straight 40-point game. He had 44 in a win in Sacramento Monday night. The Suns have the best record in the Western Conference at 15-6 and have won 12 of 13 home games.
The Bulls battled the defense all night, particularly against Booker and Ayton. Chicago coach Billy Donovan was particularly irritated in the third quarter and angrily called a timeout after Phoenix scored a couple of easy buckets.
DeMar DeRozan led Chicaho with 29 points. Zach LaVine added 21.
The Suns took a 64-43 lead at halftime. Booker toasted the Bulls with 25 points before the break and repeatedly found open jump shots from middle range. He made 10 of his 14 shots.
Phoenix shot 58% in the first half. Chicago made only 1 of 14 (7.1%) of their 3-point attempts.
Bulls: Alex Caruso scored 14 points off the bench. … The Bulls shot 4 of 25 (16%) from 3-point range.
Suns: G Chris Paul missed his 11th straight game with right heel pain. … It was Booker’s 21st career game with at least 40 points. … Landry Shamet added 12 points from the bench. … hosted a 39th consecutive sell-out crowd. … Ayton shot 11 of 18 from the field.
Bulls: Friday night at the Golden State.
Suns: host Houston on Sunday.
Devin Booker scores for 51, fueling Suns’ Bulls round
Raptors Takeaways: Williamson a one-man wrecking crew in Pelicans victory