No NBA player under 21 years old had EVER scored more than 56 points in an NBA game.
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Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (20 years old) had 56 by the three minute mark of the 4th quarter. He scored 16 points over the last three minutes of the game.
NBA player of ANY age had scored more than 63 points since Kobe Bryant in 2006 (81 against a 14-27 Raptors team on January 2, 2006).
Devin Booker finished with 70 on Friday night against a playoff-bound Celtics team pitting bulldog Marcus Smart and long rookie Jaylen Brown on him all night.
It’s only the fourth time in 54 years an NBA player has scored 70 points!
Booker joins only FIVE OTHER NBA PLAYERS EVER with 70+ points in an NBA game.
- Devin Booker, in 2017
- Kobe Bryant, in 2006
- David Robinson in 1994 scored 71 on the final day of the regular season for the 55-27 Spurs against a hapless Clippers team just pining for summer break. No other Spur made more than 4 shots all night while Robinson scored 71 in a meaningless game so that he could secure his scoring title
- David Thompson, in 1978, scored 73 to secure a scoring title of his own, also on the last day of the regular season. His playoff-bound Nuggets (48-34) actually lost the game to a 38-44 Pistons team playing their last game of the year (no playoffs for them)
- Wilt Chamberlain scored 70+ on 6 occasions from 1961-63, including his famous 100 point game. He was 3-3 in those games.
- Elgin Baylor, in 1961, scored 71 in a win over the Knicks
Devin Booker’s place in history is set. He’s only 20 years old, though, and did it in a loss during an otherwise forgettable season and his team helped him run up his score, so some people will try to put an asterisk on that claim to fame.
Other than Kobe Bryant - first ballot unanimous Hall of Fames - the only two other players who had scored 70+ points in the past 54 years were chasing a scoring title in the game meaningless game of their season. Their teams were running up their score too!
Let’s celebrate Devin Booker.
Let’s try to put this into context - league-wide as well as for the Suns franchise.
Across the league
- Booker has the highest career-high of any active player
- Booker now has three (3) of the five (5) total 27+ point scoring quarters this season
- He also has three buzzer beaters this season alone, more than any other NBA player
He’s not just a flash in the pan either. As a rookie, Booker was the youngest ever to be named to the Three Point Contest on All-Star Weekend. His scoring as a rookie and sophomore are some of the best in NBA history, putting him among future Hall of Famers LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant in the over-achieving under-20 age group.
He’s on pace to be one of only six (6) NBA players ever to average 21+ points per game in a season before they turned 20 years old (LBJ, Durant, Melo, Shaquille O’Neal and Kyrie Irving).
Booker obliterated the Suns scoring record books: most points in a game (70), most in a half (51), most free throws (26), most free throws made (24).
Here’s Kobe Bryant talking about Booker’s night.
Kobe Bryant on what stood out most about Devin Booker's 70-point game. (Via @ESPNNBA) pic.twitter.com/qjByqUrMPh— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) March 26, 2017
Ok enough talking about this.
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How he got there...
Here's Coach Nick talking about how Booker got his points, replete with highlights of other 70-point scorers.