PHOENIX – With Devin Booker being challenged with double-teams each night, the Suns are looking for others to step up offensively.
Rookie Josh Jackson did just that on Friday night against the Orlando Magic as he had possibly his best overall game as a pro, but it wasn’t enough in a 128-112 loss to the Magic.
“Josh was really good tonight,” Booker said. “I think every night it’s getting easier for him. He was great on both ends, getting out in transition, getting steals. He played incredible.”
Jackson already hit a career-high in points by halftime and finished the game with 18 points, six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot.
“I thought he was really good,” interim head coach Jay Triano said. “He found seams and was aggressive and was able to run past their players and get to the basket. He’s a young player. He’s going to learn on the fly. It was a good adjustment in his game for him to be able to attack like that.”
The rookie wasn’t the only player who stepped up as Alex Len filled in tremendously for Tyson Chandler (back spasms) as he fought hard in the paint all night.
“Tyson has big shoes to fill and [Len] did amazing tonight,” Booker said.
Len finished the game with 21 points and 13 rebounds. His two blocked shots on Friday moved him past Clifford Robinson and into the top 10 on the Suns’ all-time blocked shots leaderboard.
“I’m surprised,” Len said about moving into the top 10. “It was pretty quick. It’s always an honor.”
TJ Warren scored 20 points of his own, while Mike James added 18. Booker and Marquese Chriss rounded out the top performers with nine points each.