Booker used CP3 as inspiration for big Game 1
"Chris being one of my mentors and not being able to be here today, we wanted to do it for him. We talked about that pregame," Booker said postgame, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "We all knew we'd have to give it a little bit more. Ball security, my job keeping everybody involved. Stuff that's usually on Chris' plate, we all had to make for today as a team."
Booker became just the fifth player over the last 60 seasons to register their first career triple-trouble in the conference finals or later, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
He went toe to toe with Paul George in the third quarter, scoring 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting as he dissected the Clippers' defense with his mid-range game.
Phoenix committed just seven turnovers as a team, with Booker accounting for only two in 44 minutes of action.
"Every time you say turnovers, I think of Chris," Booker said. "I've been alongside him all season and watching him control the game and how he never turns the ball over. When he does it's a rare sight. We knew that was going to be a key for us, taking care of the ball."