• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023


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Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker exits Game 2 loss to New Orleans Pelicans because of hamstring injury – ESPN

PHOENIX — In a potential series-shifting moment, Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker went down with a hamstring injury and the New Orleans Pelicans pounced with a huge finish to take a 125-114 Game 2 win and even their first-round series at 1-1 on Tuesday night.

Booker had a prolific first half, scoring 31 points and nailing seven 3-pointers. But he didn’t score in the third quarter, and with 4:45 left in the period, he appeared to tweak his right hamstring as he was jumping to challenge a Jaxson Hayes dunk in transition. He immediately asked for a timeout and went to the locker room.

He is expected to undergo testing and treatment Wednesday. Game 3 is Friday in New Orleans.

“We’ll have more information tomorrow,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “We’ve played without Chris [Paul] and Book before. If we have to play without Book, next man up. We’ve done that all year long.”

The change in momentum after the injury was palpable, as the Pelicans played brilliantly down the stretch. They were led by Brandon Ingram, who made a series of clutch shots as he scored 26 of his 37 points in the second half. Ingram also had 11 rebounds and nine assists.

Booker has battled hamstring issues for the past two seasons. In November, he strained his left hamstring on a play similar to Tuesday’s and missed seven games. Last year during the NBA Finals, he suffered a hamstring injury in Game 3 but played through the issue and kept it a secret at the time. During the 2020-21 regular season, he also had a left hamstring injury and missed four games.

The Suns were 9-5 in games without Booker this season.

“It is what it is, it’s part of the game,” said Paul, who had 14 assists but shot just 5-of-16 with 17 points. “He was killing, he was having a big-time game.”

The Suns allowed the Pelicans to shooting a sizzling 68% in the second half and gave up 16 fast-break points as New Orleans dominated them in transition throughout the game.

“That was the worst we’ve ever looked in transition since I’ve been here,” Williams said. “For that to happen in a playoff game is unsettling for everybody.”