PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 19: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the first half of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NBA

Booker Injury Dims Suns NBA Finals Hopes As Pelicans Land Surprise Win

The fact that his Phoenix Suns team went down to a 125-114 Game 2 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans won’t worry Suns coach Monty Williams too much.

However, the prospect of star man Devin Booker being out for a period of time after tweaking a hamstring during the defeat, most certainly will.

After excelling in the first half, where he scored seven three-pointers in amassing 31 points in total in the opening two quarters, Booker had a quieter third, but with just under five minutes left in the quarter he was forced to head to the locker room.

As Jaxson Hayes was attempting to dunk, Booker went up to challenge the Pelicans player and as he jumped, he appeared to tweak his hamstring.

The Suns quickly called a timeout and Booker went to the locker room and did not return.

He is set to undergo testing on the injury, as well as treatment ahead of Game 3 of the series, which takes place in New Orleans on Friday.

“We’ve played. Without Chris and Book before,” stated coach Monty Williams.

“If we have to play without Book, next man up. We’ve done that all year long.”

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Momentum Shift

Until Booker’s injury, the game was very much in the balance between the Suns and

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – APRIL 19: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns watches from the bench alongside head coach Monty Williams during the second half of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs against the New Orleans Pelicans at Footprint Center on April 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 125-114. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Pelicans, but afterwards it was New Orleans that seized the advantage to land what could be a crucial road win.

Brandon Ingram led the way for the Pels as he scored 37 points in total, 26 in the second half, which he embellished with 11 rebounds and 9 assists.

The Pels quick breaks caused the Suns problems throughout the evening and especially when Booker left the court.

The shift in momentum after the injury was clearly evident and it was something that coach Williams picked up on.

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

Booker’s latest injury setback may well be more unsettling. He has suffered with hamstring issues previously, missing seven games back in November and he also suffered a less severe hamstring issue in last year’s NBA Finals.

With the next two games in New Orleans, has the momentum in this series shifted to the unfancied eighth seed now that the seven game series is tied at one-apiece?

We’ll find out more on Friday.

Heat Too Hot For Hawks

The other games on Monday night saw the Miami Heat earn their second win in

MIAMI, FLORIDA – APRIL 19: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat dunks against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round at FTX Arena on April 19, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

succession against the Atlanta Hawks. The Eastern Conference top seed outscored the Hawks by 9 in the crucial third quarter of what was an otherwise tight game and then they maintained the lead to win 115-105.

That result puts the Heat 2-0 up after the opening two games of the series in Miami.

It was Jimmy Butler that led the way for the Heat with 45 points in an outstanding display of shooting.

In return Trae Young netted 25 points for the Hawks with Bogdan Bogdanovic adding 29 points from the bench.

The Hawks now trail the series 2-0 and need to win both upcoming games in Atlanta in order to get themselves back into the series and give themselves a realistic chance of taking the series to a sixth or seventh game.

Grizzlies Roar Back To Defeat Timberwolves

In the other Tuesday night game, the Memphis Grizzlies put their lacklustre first game behind them with a superb and emphatic 124-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A tight first quarter proved not to be indicative of the rest of the game as the Grizzlies dominated from there on, outscoring their opponents comfortably in all three remaining quarters.

With such a big lead, the Grizzlies were able to give their first choice players a rest as a number of players off the bench made their mark, four of whom scored double-digits in points.

Ja Morant played half an hour and hit 23 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds in another eye-catcign performance.

The series between the two is now tied at 1-1 before we head North for the next two games which take place in Minnesota.

The final two Game 2 games take place tonight as the Brooklyn Nets face the Boston Celtics trailing the series 1-0 after Boston’s dramatic win in the first game and the Milwaukee Bucks will be hoping to add a second win to the one they landed in their opening Finals game against the Chicago Bulls.

Also tonight is the first Game 3 in a series as the 2-0 Philadelphia 76ers take on the Toronto Raptors knowing a win in either of the two games on the road in Canada would put them in a very strong position to make the next round.

Tonight’s Games Betting

All odds shown are moneyline odds with FanDuel Sportsbook.

  • Brooklyn Nets +134 @ Boston Celtics -158
  • Philadelphia 76ers -148 @ Toronto Raptors +126
  • Chicago Bulls +380 @ Milwaukee Bucks -490

 

FEATURED IMAGE – PHOENIX, ARIZONA – APRIL 19: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the first half of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at Footprint Center on April 19, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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