Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker returns in win vs. Charlotte Hornets after missing 7 games

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker returned in a 137-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday after missing the past seven games with a left hamstring strain.

Booker suffered the injury during the second quarter of a Nov. 30 win over the Golden State Warriors. He scored 16 points and hit four 3-pointers in his return but only had to play 26 minutes as the Suns led by as many as 36 points in the blowout win.

Phoenix, who were 5-2 without Booker, improved to 24-5 on the season and moved a half-game ahead of Golden State for the best record in the league.

"I learned some things from the sideline that I tried to implement today,'' said Booker. "The machine keeps moving even in games we had people out. Somebody steps up and jumps right into that role.''

Booker, 25, came into Sunday's game averaging 23.2 points and 4.5 assists while shooting a career-high 40% from 3-point range this season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.