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Devin Booker notches season-best 52 points in Suns’ win

NEW ORLEANS — Devin Booker scored a season-high 52 points in 37 minutes on the court — his second straight 50-point game against New Orleans — and the Phoenix Suns beat the Pelicans 123-109 on Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

The last time Booker — who had 25 points in the first quarter — was in the Suns’ lineup against New Orleans he scored 58 points in a victory in Phoenix on Dec. 17, 2022.

On Friday, he was 18 of 30 from the field, 6 of 11 on 3s and made 10 free throws without a miss.

Booker reached 50 points for the sixth time in his career.

He had a career-high 70 at Boston on March 24, 2017.

Kevin Durant added 26 points and Jusuf Nurkic grabbed 15 rebounds for Phoenix.

The Suns shot 49.5 percent (46 of 93) and led by 30 points in the second half.

Zion Williamson scored 24 points for the Pelicans, who didn’t shoot well enough to keep up with Booker and Co.

Devin Booker, who scored 52 points, reacts during the Suns’ 123-109 win over the Pelicans. Getty Images

New Orleans missed 32 of 42 3-point shots — two nights after making a franchise-record 25 from deep in a blowout victory over Charlotte.

The arena was packed to the top row of the upper deck for what looked to be a matchup between a pair of ascending teams in the Western Conference.

Revved up from the opening tip, the crowd exploded when Ingram hit a 15-foot pullup in the opening minute for the games’ first points.

The was the largest Pelicans lead they saw all night, and it was short-lived.

Devin Booker drives between Brandon Ingram (14) and Herbert Jones (5) in the second half of the Suns’ win. AP

Booker responded with a 3 and went on to hit nine of his first 11 shots on a mix of pull-ups, turnarounds, fades, floaters and three 3s to reach 25 points before the first quarter ended.

The Pelicans, by sharp contrast, missed 17 of their first 19 3-point attempts.

Phoenix led by 23 in the second quarter before the Pelicans managed to trim their deficit to 17 by halftime at 69-52, thanks for a 7-0 run the featured Trey Murphy III’s 3 and Williamson’s alley-oop dunk.

Devin Booker shoots over Larry Nance Jr. during the third quarter
of the Suns’ victory. Getty Images

But Booker, who played in high school in Moss Point, Mississippi, went about squelching any momentum the Pelicans hoped to have gained in the second half.

He scored 20 points in the third quarter, and the Suns led 100-80 heading into the final period.

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