Breakfast Special: Devin Booker’s Fragile Body

Devin Booker continues to suffer the slings and arrows of one minor injury after another.

He left the Suns’ 120-96 loss to the Lakers Sunday with Los Angeles up 49-43 in what would prove to be a 40-15 outburst in the second quarter.

Booker was plus-6 for the game. No good can come of this for an already gods-awful Phoenix team that now stands 4-19 in the standings, a 14-68 pace by record and 12-70 by point differential.

On the Lakers’ side of things, Kyle Kuzma led the scoring with 23, LeBron James had 22, six Lakers scored in double figures, and only the fact that Lonzo Ball sucks (7 points on 3-of-10 shooting, although he did have four each of rebounds, assists, and steals befitting his Dollar Store Westbrook nickname he’s earned around here) kept them from a Total Team Effort.

Ball’s .396/.322/.556 shooting splits aren’t as utterly putrid as last year, but when your ceiling as a shooter is Ricky Rubio, you’ve got problems.

The Lakers hit half their shots and 40.7 percent of their threes in this one, overcoming 19 turnovers to seal the win.

Give it up for Kuz, as getting one more point than the King makes him man of the match:

The Spurs Are Not Dead

San Antonio may score their points two at a time, and coach Gregg Popovich may be showing himself as a relic with his recent comments on pace-and-space basketball being “boring”, but when you make enough of those two-pointers against a Blazers team that’s been terrible on the road (Portland is 8-4 at home and 5-6 away), then you get to be back within a game of .500 at 11-12.

The Spurs won 131-119 behind a combined 65 points without a three-point attempt from DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Aldridge had 29 on 11-of-15 from the field and 7-of-8 from the line.

DeRozan continues to show why he deserves to be a 2002 All-Star, getting his 36 on 13-of-27 from the field and 10-of-10 from the line.

This is ridiculous. Retire, Pop, before I have to start calling it Scott-Hollins-Popovich Syndrome.

The Spurs attempted 15 three-point baskets in a game in 2018. They made 11 of them (so whatever), but no wonder they’re 11-12. They don’t have the firepower to compete despite their wealth of talent in Dark Ages players.

Sixers Unbeatable At Home

Philadelphia is now 13-1 at Wells Fargo Center after smacking Memphis 103-95 Sunday.

Joel Embiid didn’t even play all that well; he had 15 points and 14 rebounds but needed a 4-of-13 shooting day to get those points.

Ben Simmons had 19 points on 0-of-0 from three-point land (and 8-of-10 from two) to go with 12 rebounds.

And JJ Redick led all scorers with 24 and continued to put up one of those “Markelle Who?” games that ensure that Markelle Fultz will be traded or possibly released after his rookie deal is up, a bust on the level of Greg Oden or LaRue Martin.

When something like “The Grizzlies shot 41.4 percent” happens, is it because Philly’s defense is that good or the Grizz offense is that bad? Memphis is 23rd in the league in offensive rating, but that’s still impressive in terms of holding an opponent’s field goal percentage down in a win.

Two’s company and Ben Simmons is your man of the match:

Lightning Round!

New Orleans, a team that is 9-2 at home and 3-10 on the road, went on the road and beat the most enigmatic team in the league, winning 119-109 at Charlotte, who are now 11-12 and seem destined to go 36-46 with a positive point differential for the third straight year.

Anthony Davis had 36 points, 19 rebounds, and eight assists, Julius Randle had 13 points and nine boards off the bench, the Pellies shot 51.2 percent from the field overall, Charlotte struggled from long range (10-of-36, 27.8 percent), and despite a 17-11 turnover advantage, the Hornets’ poor shooting cost them the game.

Give it up for the Brow:

Miami beat Utah 102-100 in the kind of game that makes sensible people wonder if Donovan Mitchell secretly sucks.

Mitchell shot 8-of-24 from the field to get his 18 points, and he does this so often that we really do have to start asking if gunning for counting stats is going to be enough to build him a reputation with the casuals (OK, yeah, it already has. But the advanced stats hate the guy for good reason.)

Miami, meanwhile, won this game off the bench. All four bench guys had at least a plus-10, even Bam Adebayo, who only played 14 minutes.

Hassan Whiteside led the starters and the team with 23 points on a tidy 11-of-17 shooting, adding 20 rebounds and three blocked shots, and it is on such small twists of efficiency that wins and losses are made.

But give it up for Dwyane Wade, whose late free throws iced the game:

Dallas is 9-2 at home and 11-10 overall, and they beat the Clippers 114-110 to keep the Western standings a proper Dumpster fire.

DeAndre Jordan feasted on his former team, scoring 16 and pulling down 23 rebounds.

And Harrison Barnes had one of the worst 30-point games in recent memory, shooting a get-the-barf-bag 11-of-28.

HERO OF SERBIA played one minute and had one steal. Unleash the Boban!

But hey, even a garbage 30-piece is still a 30-piece, so here are some Barnes highlights.

The stats say you folks love those Saturday features, so I’m going to bring them on every week. Got to give the people…give the people what they want!

Stay tuned for great features (and not just on Saturday), follow me on Twitter @RealFoxD, and thanks for reading!