Dropping the Los Angeles Lakers to 0-2 became more challenging on Thursday when the Phoenix Suns learned Devin Booker would join Bradley Beal on the sideline.
Booker is out with a left foot injury and Beal, who didn’t play against Golden State in the opener Tuesday night, is also idle against the Lakers. The concern in Phoenix is that Booker played through left toe soreness on Tuesday, and now he’s experiencing left foot pain.
That leaves Kevin Durant, who scored 18 points with 11 rebounds, to lead a cast of relatively new supporting role players against LA. But veterans Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen, who combined to go 4-for-22 from the field Tuesday are in the starting lineup in Los Angeles with a chance to help erase the poor showing in the opener.
Allen started and went 0 for 6.
Booker won’t be easy to replace. He scored 32 points, including the go-ahead score with just inside of five minutes remaining to lift Phoenix to a 108-104 victory Tuesday over the Warriors. Jusuf Nurkic had 14 points with 14 rebounds for the Suns, who finished fourth in the Western Conference last season and bowed out of the playoffs in the second round when they were overcome by the eventual champion Denver Nuggets. Durant was moved to the Suns at last season’s February trade deadline but played in just eight regular-season games with his new squad and all 11 playoff games. Nurkic arrived this summer in a three-team deal. Allen also went to the Suns in that trade and started Tuesday but did not score in 21 minutes. Booker hinted Tuesday that the Suns are learning as they go and have the depth to survive an absence — or, in this case, two.