Warriors guard Chris Paul knocked down a 19-foot jumper to pull Golden State within a point of the Phoenix Suns with 2:57 left to play Tuesday night at Chase Center.
But Devin Booker — Paul’s understudy for three seasons in Phoenix — took over from there.
In the final 69 seconds of the game, Booker assisted on the Suns’ final three shots – 3-pointers by Josh Okogie and Eric Gordon and a layup by Jusuf Nurkic to seal the game with 10.1 seconds left.
Booker is more of a scorer than a facilitator, but with Paul now in the Bay Area, the Suns may need him as more of a pass-first player at times. After the game, Booker admitted that his late-game dishes came from years of lessons learned from the 19-year veteran.
“He’s one of the best players at manipulating the game and the situations, reading the game and knowing what’s going to happen before every possession,” Booker told reporters after the game. “He looked at the game from a different perspective for a long time. He was someone I was able to be a sponge for for a very long time and to this day.”
“I’ll ask him anything because I’ve been in the league for a long time and not many people care about it as much as he does. I love being around people like that where the focus is on the commitment is there.”
Devin Booker had great play down the stretch. Generated 8 points in a row (see here) to secure the win for the Suns.
Book can use the threat of his goal to open up his teammates. An absolute superstar. pic.twitter.com/uLHkgtTjXA
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) October 25, 2023
Booker still scored heavily, scoring a game-high 32 points on 13 of 21 shooting, along with eight assists and six rebounds. Paul scored 14 points on 4 of 15 shooting with nine assists, six rebounds, two steals and in his Warriors debut a few “CP3!” chants by Dub Nation at Chase Center.
“The 19th grade is still doing it,” Booker said of Paul. “Very impressive.”