[via NOP]

Booker & KD Score 78 Combined Points at the Smoothie King Center

07:00 January 20, 2024
By: Kaitlin Lowe

A Tough Loss For the Pels

Despite a phenomenal performance from the Pelicans on their home floor this past Wednesday, this past Friday night's game had a bleak outcome for the Pels as Devin Booker and Kevin Durant brought their A-game.

The Smoothie King Center had electrifying energy on Friday night with a packed house. Even the 13-time All-Star Kevin Durant commented on how he felt more spirit in the Smoothie King Center than ever. He mentioned that he was "happy for New Orleans for cultivating such great spirit behind the franchise" over the years.

Yet, our New Orleans Pelicans team didn't give the fans much to cheer for as they fell behind in the first quarter and never picked up steam. Between offense and defense, the Pelicans seemed to lose their identity on both ends of the floor.

"They knocked us on our heels early, and we couldn't find a way to get back in the rhythm," said Coach Green on the Pelicans' downfalls of the night. Overall, it just "wasn't a good night on our end," said Coach Green.

Booker & Durant Combine for 78 Points

[via PHX Suns]

For the fair number of Suns fans in attendance, this game was undeniably great for them as three-time All-Star Devin Booker stole the show.

With 25 points in the first quarter, it was bound to be a fantastic night for him as he ended up with 52 points—setting his new season high. It was also the highest number of points anybody has scored in the Smoothie King Center this season. The second highest scorer of the night was Durant with 26.

When asking Booker what fueled such a great night for him, he said, "My family. Everybody makes the trip here, they have sat in the same seats for nine years to watch me play; this is the closest NBA arena to them, we're only 90 minutes away from my high school." Booker had 50-60 loved ones in attendance who he proudly showed up for.

"After our last game, we were down 20 points in the fourth quarter, and we were fighting an uphill battle the whole time, although we did end up winning. We didn't want that to be the case tonight, so we played the start of the game how we played the fourth quarter last game," said Booker. Overall, Booker was proud to put up a phenomenal game for his dedicated family.

The Suns had a great handle on their defensive skills during the game. Durant had the difficult task of guarding Ingram for the majority of the game.

"I have so much respect for B.I.; he finds a way to make those shots, so you have to make it tough for him—that's the only way to do it," said Durant.

Kevin Durant [Kaitlin Lowe]

When asked if he was nervous the Pelicans would make a run at any point, Durant explained how hard it is to dig yourself out of the rut when you're down by a lot early in the game, yet he noted one moment during the game where he felt the Pelicans might have flipped the script.

"They started to pick up steam, and they subbed Jose [Alvarado] in," said Durant. "I thought they were going to make a big play and start gaining on us. That's the kind of player that Jose is; he has the energy and skill to make things happen."

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