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Frank Vogel Praises Suns Defense after 16-Point Comeback Victory over Wizards

Phoenix Suns’ coach Frank Vogel postgame press conference after the Suns (14-12) come back to beat the Washington Wizards (4-21) 112-108

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Tonight was a must-win game for a struggling Phoenix Suns team going against a 4-21 team in the Washington Wizards to conclude a five-game homestand for the Suns.

The Suns entered tonight having on a two-game losing streak and having six of their last eight. Things did not appear to be looking up for them early in this game.

Washington was in control pretty much the entire night until the end of the third quarter. They once led by as much as 16, as the Suns started 2-for-20 from beyond the arc.

So how did the Suns, who have struggled mightily in the fourth quarter this season, get turned around?

“Devin Booker,” Suns’ coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s an assassin. Even if things are not going his way, knowing no one ever really loses confidence in what he can do and we knew that was his time to take over the game. The great ones, they possess that; they possess that short-term memory when things haven’t gone their way, they know their game and can turn up when needed.”

Booker, who started 1-of-7 from three and had three turnovers through three quarters, got the Suns organized and gave them the momentum they needed in the fourth quarter. He finished with 11 points and three assists and was a +12 in the final frame alone. On the night, he had 27 points, eight assists and four rebounds on 10-of-24 shooting from the field and 3-of-11 on threes.

Despite the rough start, Vogel was overall happy with how much better his team played defensively today.

“I think our defensive effort intensity was pretty good throughout the game,” Vogel said. “Definitely heightened in the second half, but I thought our team responded to a poor performance against the Knicks, give them 139 points and this team scored 137 points just last game. Washington has a lot of fire power, despite their record and we knew they could do the same thing with us if we didn’t step up, so we had a much better performance on the defensive side of the ball.”

Everyone’s stats tonight:

  • Kevin Durant: 28 PTS, 5 AST, 5 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK
  • Devin Booker: 27 PTS, 8 AST, 4 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK
  • Eric Gordon: 13 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL
  • Drew Eubanks: 12 PTS, 5 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK
  • Grayson Allen: 11 PTS, 4 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 2 BLK
  • Jusuf Nurkić: 6 PTS, 17 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK
  • Jordan Goodwin: 6 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST
  • Nassir Little: 5 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
  • Chimezie Metu: 4 PTS, 2 REB, 1 STL

The Suns next play the Trail Blazers (6-19) on the road Tuesday night.

Devin Booker Shakes off Rough Start, Helps Struggling Suns Get Comeback Victory over Wizards

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Brendan Mau is a senior writer covering the Phoenix Suns and more for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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