Propelled by a stellar 51-point performance from Devin Booker, the Phoenix Suns breezed past the Chicago Bulls Wednesday night in a 132-113 victory. Booker received MVP chants throughout the night as Phoenix improved to 15-6 to take sole control of the top spot in the Western Conference.

Booker’s massive scoring night was as much a result of efficiency as volume, as the guard, made 20 of 25 field goal attempts and six of seven shots from three-point range. Along with fellow star Deandre Ayton, who scored 30 and earned 14 rebounds, Booker was the only on the floor for 31 minutes due to the lopsided nature of the game.

After taking a seven-point lead in the first quarter, Phoenix outscored Chicago 32-18 in the second to pull ahead 64-43 at the half. A 29-point night for Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan was not nearly enough as both teams played evenly in the second half to ensure a blowout.

Playing without Chris Paul, who has been out since early November with a heel injury, the Suns have had to depend more on Booker and Ayton in recent weeks and both players have delivered. Booker has been incredibly effective, with 28.9 points per night in the past month despite a slow start.

Fans in Phoenix have been appreciative of the guard’s talents for years, but MVP chants have surged again with the star’s latest hot streak. During the 2021-22 season, there was similar clamoring for Booker to receive the award and he went on to finish fourth in voting behind eventual winner Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid and Giannis Antentokounpo.

Even without Paul, the Suns have now won six straight games thanks chiefly to their two healthy star contributors. A perennial championship frontrunner for several years now, the team seems to be on a similar trajectory through the first 21 games of the 2022-23 season and next plays Friday night against the 5-16 Houston Rockets.

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