PHOENIX (AP) — Devin Booker scored a season-high 51 points in just three quarters, Deandre Ayton had 30 points and 16 rebounds and the Phoenix Suns stretched their winning streak to six games with a 132-113 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.
Booker scored 25 points in the first half and had 26 more in a sublime third quarter. After a contested 3-pointer splashed through the net, "MVP! MVP!" chants broke out across Footprint Arena, and the 26-year-old is certainly making an early season case.
The two-time All-Star had a steal late in the third before sprinting downcourt 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 with the Suns holding a healthy lead.
Even more remarkable than Booker's point total was his efficiency. He shot 20 of 25 from the field, going 6 of 7 from 3-point range. He is the second player over the last 25 years with 50 points and 80% shooting through the first three quarters of a game, joining James Harden in 2017, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
It was Booker's second straight 40-point game. He had 44 in a victory at Sacramento on Monday night. The Suns have the best record in the Western Conference at 15-6 and have won 12 out of 13 home games.
The Bulls struggled on defense the entire night, particularly against Booker and Ayton. Chicago coach Billy Donovan was particularly irritated in the third quarter, angrily calling a time out after Phoenix scored a couple easy buckets.
DeMar DeRozan led the Bulls with 29 points. Zach LaVine added 21.
The Suns took a 64-43 lead at halftime. Booker roasted the Bulls with 25 points before the break, repeatedly finding open mid-range jump shots. He made 10 of his 14 shots.
Phoenix shot 58% in the first half. Chicago made just 1 of 14 (7.1%) of its 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 consecutive game with right heel soreness. ... It was Booker's 21st career game with at least 40 points. ... Landry Shamet added 12 points off the bench. ... Hosted a 39th consecutive sellout crowd. ... Ayton shot 11 of 18 from the field.
Bulls: At Golden State on Friday night.
Suns: Host Houston on Sunday.
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