NEW ORLEANS — Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker will return for his team’s Game 6 against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night after missing the past three games with a strained right hamstring, coach Monty Williams said.
Booker was officially upgraded to questionable shortly before the game and had been expected to test the leg in pregame warm-ups before getting the OK. Williams said he’d progressed well in recent days as the Suns took a 3-2 lead in the first-round series.
« It’s hard this time of the year to mimic an NBA game, » Williams said of what led to Booker’s return. « He’s been on the floor with (Suns assistant coach) Jarrett Jack a few times. And doing the best he can to get to that point. »
When asked if the Suns would be monitoring Booker’s minutes in Game 6, Williams just smiled and said, « Yes, » adding that the guard’s return gives Phoenix « roster balance. »
« It helps to kind of settle the order of the team a little bit, relatively speaking, » Williams said. « He won’t play his normal 36, 38, 40 workload, but it still gives you a bit more balance. »
Booker scored 25 points in the Suns’ Game 1 win and then had 31 in the first half of Game 2 before suffering the injury in the third quarter and leaving the eventual loss.
ESPN’s Andrew Lopez contributed to this report.