Sports

Moss Point’s Devin Booker looks every bit the NBA All-Star

By Patrick Magee

pmagee@sunherald.com

Phoenix Suns Devin Booker drives the ball past Wesley Matthews of the Dallas Mavericks in Mexico City on Jan. 12.
Phoenix Suns Devin Booker drives the ball past Wesley Matthews of the Dallas Mavericks in Mexico City on Jan. 12. Associated press

Former Moss Point basketball standout Devin Booker is looking more and more like an NBA All-Star.

The Phoenix Suns guard has been playing some of his best basketball as a pro lately, averaging 30 points over the last six contests.

He's a long shot to be announced as an NBA All-Star when the selections are revealed at 6 p.m. on TNT Thursday night, but he's looked the part over the last couple of weeks.

Considering the backcourt depth in the Western Conference, the odds of Booker earning a selection are close to zero. The Western Conference is loaded with guards who are having great seasons, including James Harden, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Damion Lillard.

The 20-year-old Booker put together two of his best games last week in Mexico City, tying his career high of 39 points in consecutive games. The Suns fell 113-108 to the Mavericks on Jan. 12, but rebounded for an impressive 108-105 victory over the Spurs.

During the two games, Booker made 26 of 42 attempts from the field, shooting 62 percent overall. He was particularly sharp behind the 3-point line, making 9 of 12 tries.

Booker put together one of the best single-quarter performances by an NBA player this season in the fourth quarter against the Mavericks. He scored a franchise-record 28 points in the fourth quarter by hitting 81 percent of his attempts, including 5-of-6 from the 3-point line.

“I love this franchise,” Booker told Suns.com. “I love the city of Phoenix, so to be in the record books like that at as a young age, it means a lot.”

In Saturday's win over the Spurs, Booker was often defended by either Kawhi Leonard of Danny Green. Leonard is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and Green is no slouch either.

Booker pushed his scoring average over 20 points during his recent hot streak. He is averaging 20.4 points, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds a game this season.

Booker and the Suns will travel to take on the defending world champion Cleveland Cavaliers at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

The NBA All-Star Game is set for Feb. 19 in New Orleans.

Booker is the all-time leading scorer in Moss Point history with 2,518 career points. He was a three-time Sun Herald South Mississippi Player of the Year.

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