PHOENIX, Ariz. – Kelly Oubre Jr. was one of many Phoenix Suns players who had their names floated in trade rumors over the past week. But the trade deadline came and went, nobody was moved, and by Friday morning's shootaround there was a mini-celebration that everyone was still around.
“The first thing we said when we saw each other this morning was ‘We made it!'” Oubre said.
The good vibes continued several hours later when the Suns played one of their best games of the season in a 127-91 victory over the Houston Rockets. Oubre scored a career-high 39 points and Devin Booker added 33.
“I don't want to get too high on the hog, but I thought that was a really good effort from our guys," Suns coach Monty Williams said. “There was a sense of urgency from the tip to play with great effort. That was pleasing for me.”
The Suns poured in 46 points in the first quarter and led the rest of the way, turning back a handful of Houston rallies. The Rockets were playing without All-Star guard Russell Westbrook, who was held out for rest one night after Houston beat the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 24-year-old Oubre had a stellar game on his bobblehead night, hitting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Suns a 97-73 lead going into the fourth quarter. He shot 14 of 19 from the field, including 7 of 9 from 3-point range.
“My teammates were passing me the ball,” Oubre said. “I was just playing within the coach's system, being in attack mode, staying aggressive. I'm honored, but we've got another one tomorrow.”
The Suns snapped a four-game losing streak overall and a 13-game losing streak against the Rockets that dates to 2016.