The Phoenix Suns are winners of the West's wild card spot.
Phoenix will face the Los Angeles Lakers and the LeBron James/Anthony Davis duo in the quarterfinals of the NBA's in-season tournament at 8 p.m. PT Tuesday in Los Angeles.
The Suns had a plus-34 point differential and were able to outlast the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors for the West's final wild-card spot. Phoenix played in Group A of the West, which was won by James, Davis and the Lakers.
Here are three reasons why the Suns will and won't win the NBA's in-season tournament.
Booker and Durant are the NBA's best duo. The two are looking like they can score 30 points any given night.
Booker, who is 27 years old, is the Suns' franchise player. He in the last seven games has averaged 28.9 points on 47.5 percent shooting, 8.4 assists — he would be tied for fourth in the NBA at 8.9 per game — and 5.4 rebounds.
Durant is playing like an MVP candidate. He is averaging the second-most points (31.4) per game in the NBA and has been a great defender. Durant is in the 99th percentile at his position by Cleaning the Glass at a 2.0 foul percentage.
Frank Vogel's Lakers experience
Vogel is the best defensive coach in the last decade-plus. His teams have led the league in defensive rating three times, which is the most in that span.
He coached the LA Lakers and led them to the NBA championship in 2019-20. Vogel in the last 12 years has also led teams to a top-3 defensive rating five times, including two of his teams with the Lakers.
Devin Booker MVP chase
Booker has been 7-0 with the Suns as the point guard since he returned to the lineup.
Booker and Phoenix have scored at least 110 points in each game. Booker was named Western Conference Player of the Week over the last four games.
The Suns and Lakers have the quarterfinals in the West Monday at Crypto.com Arena.
Booker, who recently had a 46-point elimination game performance in Los Angeles back in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, is back to play LA. The Lakers have won each of their meetings against the Suns, including the NBA's group stage game against Phoenix Nov. 10.
Phoenix has Booker back but it might not be enough. The Lakers are 7-1 at home.
Suns have tough turnaround
Phoenix has one of its biggest games of the season Friday against the Denver Nuggets, who have two-time Most Valuable Player and reigning 2023 NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic and guard Jamal Murray, who eliminated the Suns in six games in the 2023 Western Conference semifinals.
Denver is looking like one of the best teams in the NBA once again. The Suns have a competitive ESPN game at home versus Denver before they return to face the Lakers in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Phoenix is possibly without Kevin Durant for their road game against the Toronto Raptors. Durant has missed the last two games due to left foot soreness.
The Suns will be without guard Bradley Beal, who is going to be re-evaluated in December with a lower back strain. Phoenix is yet to have Beal — who it traded starting point guard Chris Paul and backup guard Landry Shamet for — Durant and Booker on the floor together this season.