Devin Booker's clutch gene has the Suns as the talk of the bubble
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Devin Booker’s clutch gene has the Suns as the talk of the bubble

Don’t look now, but the Phoenix Suns are 3-0 in the Orlando bubble and making the most of this restart of the 2019-20 NBA season behind Devin Booker and his clutch antics.

On Tuesday, the Suns managed to win a tug of war against the Los Angeles Clippers, owning the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with a turnaround jumper at the buzzer to walk away with a 117-115 victory.

Booker was at one point surrounded by four Clippers, getting Kawhi Leonard up in the air first and then burying the turnaround fadeaway jumper over the outstretched arms of George and a late-closing Leonard.

If you’ve ever heard “good defense, better offense” this is the video that should accompany that phrase:

Devin Booker is no stranger to having the ball in his hands late in games or making clutch shots. He’s actually tied with LeBron James for the most game-winning buzzer beaters in the past five years, including playoffs.

It’s also worth noting that Booker came off the bench his first year in the league and has yet to play any postseason basketball during his five-year career, giving him much fewer games played than his Los Angeles Lakers counterpart.

But it hasn’t been Booker alone.

His supporting cast of Deandre Ayton, Ricky Rubio, and even rookie Cam Johnson — who is plugging away for the injured Kelly Oubre Jr. — have been stout companions throughout the restart.

Ayton is back playing heavy minutes after a 25-game suspension earlier in the season gave the Suns some fits. Rubio, who ranks fourth in the league with 8.8 assists per game, has quietly put up 15, 20, and 18 points through the first three games of the restart.

Yet it all begins and ends with Devin Booker, who shoulders the bulk of the load every night and is averaging 30.3 points per game since the seeding games started at Walt Disney World.

Booker’s post-buzzer-beater pose, laying down on the hardwood after his shot fell through the net, has since gone viral — even making it as the Suns’ Twitter profile pic:

It didn’t take long for that to be made into a meme:

The Suns will face off against the only other NBA team to go 3-0 thus far, the Indiana Pacers. Former Sun T.J. Warren, who leads the league in scoring since the restart (39.7 points per game), will put his team’s streak on the line when the Pacers take on the Suns on Thursday.

Phoenix had the longest odds of making the playoffs after being invited to the bubble, a hefty six games behind the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.

Not they stand only three games behind Memphis with plenty of steam to blow through the remaining five games, all of which are fairly winnable.

The Suns won’t have an easy road, as all five teams remaining are well over the .500 mark, but they can surely put out a few stunners the way Devin Booker has played thus far.

As long as the clutch gene is still there for the 23-year-old phenom, the Suns will have a puncher’s chance at cracking the ninth spot and potentially forcing a play-in game to sneak into the playoffs.