PHOENIX — The Phoenix Suns won their first game this season without Devin Booker on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks, ending a 10-game losing streak on the season and a previous 0-9 mark without Booker.
Even better news came on Friday when the Suns announced Booker is questionable for Saturday’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s an upgrade from his “out” status on the team’s injury report preceding its last five games.
“Felt good, got to practice today, get up-and-down, feels good,” Booker said after practice on Friday. “Hope it feels good tomorrow, get some more treatment and see where we stand tomorrow.”
Booker has missed the team’s last six games after he re-aggravated his left hamstring against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 2. The 22-year-old originally missed three games earlier in the season because of a left hamstring strain but was noticeably not at 100 percent in his return, even admitting eight games into his return that he was a step slow.
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With that, the desire was for Booker to take his time coming back and that’s what he’s done.
“Just staying off it completely,” Booker said of what he’s done differently. “Really tried to work into it quick last time. I don’t really know the science behind it but getting your glutes activated to take stress off the hamstring.
“This time I took a little bit of chill time off and then worked my way into it.”
The Suns’ offense will certainly be grateful to have the player back who has been carrying the team on that end. In Phoenix’s last six games compared to the rest of the league, the team ranks 29th in offensive rating at a rough 98.3 and 29th in true shooting percentage at 52.0. The Suns have failed to reach 100 points in four of those six games.
After Saturday’s contest, the Suns go on a five-game road trip that begins in New York against the Knicks on Monday.
“We’ll see,” Booker said when asked if a return is possible on the road trip. “Felt really good today so tomorrow, we’re just taking it day-by-day, get my wind back and see when I’m ready to go.”
Wing Josh Jackson is also questionable for Saturday due to a sprained left big toe.
Jackson has severely struggled with efficiency and taking care of the ball but is playing with terrific energy off the bench in the past couple of weeks.
With that being said, Jackson is still shooting a woeful 38.2 percent from the field this season and only 34.8 percent in December.
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