Former University of Kentucky standout Devin Booker scored 14 points in his NBA debut, a 111-95 loss at home to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
The rookie hit his first three shots and scored 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting for the Suns, all in the second half.
"It was surreal just to be out there in the first place," Booker said, according to a report on the team's website. "That's been your dream growing up. Everything you want to say is, 'I want to be in the NBA.' That’s my first real NBA action. Unbelievable feeling."
His first basket as a pro was a 15-foot jumper with 2:50 left in the third quarter. He ended the quarter with his first NBA three-pointer.
"I was just trying to feel it out," Booker said. "First time I went out there, Coach said he was just trying to get my feet wet. I knew my second opportunity in there, I was going to go as hard as possible. Whatever I have to do to help the team win is what I’m out there trying to do."
Late in the game, all four of the Suns' former UK guards — Booker, Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe and Archie Goodwin — were in the game at the same time. Knight finished with 15 points, Bledsoe had 13 and Goodwin scored 12.
Suns Coach Jeff Hornacek appreciated Booker's aggressive offense, but the youngster has a lot to learn about NBA defense.
"I think he got back-doored on one and that's when a veteran says, 'I got a rookie and I'm going to pick on him,'" Hornacek said. "That's how you learn. Overall, for the first game, I thought he played pretty well."
Booker talked about his lapse on defense.
"You have to keep your focus at all times," Booker said in the Suns.com report. "I got back-doored one time. You can get away with that in college. You can recover and block that shot. Much more talented in this league and I know that, so I'm going to try and get better each and every day.
"It’s all new to me," Booker said. "It’s the NBA and people say it’s a different league. It really is."