NBA fines Suns $25K after Devin Booker's surprising Game 6 return

·2-min read

Devin Booker was back on the court way earlier than expected for the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The NBA is apparently unhappy with how he got there.

The league fined the Suns $25,000 for violating league injury reporting rules, specifically failing to disclose Booker's participation status in a timely and accurate manner ahead of Game 6 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Booker had been out since Game 2 and was initially believed to be out for two to three weeks, but ultimately ended up sitting about nine days.

He was initially ruled out for Game 6 the day of the game Thursday before being upgraded to questionable hours later, then announced to be playing. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the day before it was possible Booker could return in time for Game 6, then reported he was expected to play before he was upgraded to questionable.

Maybe the NBA found that to be a sketchy order of operations.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 28: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns looks on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on April 28, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Devin Booker was reported to be potentially able to play, then officially ruled out, then reported to be playing, then officially upgraded to questionable, then announced to be playing. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

While the Suns were undoubtably happy to see Booker back, his return was fairly quiet by his standards. In 32 minutes, the All-Star posted 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting with five rebounds and three assists. Chris Paul was the far bigger factor, scoring 33 points on a perfect 14-of-14 shooting with eight assists to lead a 115-109 series-clinching win.

The Suns are now scheduled to face the Dallas Mavericks in the second round, where they are heavy favorites to advance at -350 at BetMGM.