NEW ORLEANS ( Associated Press) — The Phoenix Suns have ruled their leading scorer Devin Booker for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans because of a left hamstring.
Booker played 36 minutes in a 128-117 loss at New Orleans on Friday night, scoring 14 points — nearly half his average of 27.4 points per game this season.
Normally an elite perimeter shooter, Booker hit 2-of-8 3-pointers in the loss.
“I didn’t see the ‘book’ in general,” Suns coach Montey Williams explained before the start of Sunday’s game. “As an organisation, it is better to make sure he is okay.
“He wants to play like the ‘Book’ would play,” Williams said. “We’re trying to be as smart as possible.”
Williams indicated that Dario Saric, who played just 46 seconds without an injury Friday night, would replace Booker in the starting lineup.
“We’ll try to do the best we can in terms of managing rotations and issues of that nature. We’ve done it all year, so it’s nothing new for us,” Williams said. “He’s just another all- A member of the NBA First Team who does not play. That’s part of the NBA season. New Orleans does just that. Only one has to solve it”.
The Pelicans will play their seventh straight game without star Brandon Ingram, who is averaging 20.8 points per game behind Zion Williamson on the New Orleans roster. Ingram is recovering from a left foot injury.
New Orleans is also without starter Herb Jones, considered the team’s best defender, because of a sore left ankle. Jones is absent for the fifth straight game.