Bright Siders, it’s that time of year again! It’s that time of year when I mention how close someone is to breaking a record that no one but me is interested in.
Records are on the line as the Phoenix Suns wrap up the regular season in 2021-22. The Suns tied the team record for most victories in a season with 62 with a win on Wednesday night. The squad is up 46-0 going into the fourth quarter. They now have the best road record (31-6) of any team in the league.
There’s one metric I like to bring up whenever the season draws to a close. And I know you’ve told me this every season: it doesn’t matter. Who cares how many points every game someone on the team scores as long as we win? And you are correct.
It doesn’t stop me from asking the question every year...
I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to Tom Chambers and his efforts during the 1989-90 regular season. He set a franchise record with 27.17 points per game during the season. That score is still the highest scoring average in a regular season in your Phoenix Suns’ history, 32 years later.
Tom Chambers’ season was undoubtedly one to remember. It was his highest scoring average in his professional career, which featured four All-Star appearances and two All-NBA honors.
Tom Chambers put up a remarkable 60-point performance against his former team, the Seattle Supersonics, during that season.
He also scored 56 points against the Golden State Warriors less than a month before that game. That season, he scored at least 40 points seven times and more than 30 points twenty-five different times.
27.2 points. This was good enough for fourth place in the league in scoring that season. Patrick Ewing came in third with a score of 28.6, while Karl Malone came in second with a score of 31.0. Then there was Michael Jordan, who led the league in scoring for the fourth time in seven years, averaging 33.6 points per game.
The boy from Utah University had an outstanding regular season. The scoring average has never been surpassed, despite the fact that it has been contested. Devin Booker has come the closest. Three times in total.
Devin Booker has flirted with that number before. In both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, he averaged 26.6 points per game. The Phoenix Suns finished outside of the playoffs in both of those seasons, winning 19 and 34 games, respectively.
Devin Booker is averaging 26.4 points per game this season. He’s less than a point behind Tom Chambers’ record. The regular season is approaching to a finish, but with the Phoenix Suns currently dominating the Western Conference, Devin Booker’s prospects of surpassing TC are small. To do so, he’ll need to score 35.6 points per game in the final six games of the season.
I’ll say it again: in the larger scheme of things, the single-season scoring title means nothing. Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns have their sights set on far higher records and accolades than 27.2 points. They are looking to do the one thing no Suns’ team has done: win an NBA Championship.
Tom Chambers and the season he pulled together 32 years ago deserve credit. It’s a barometer that none of the great Suns’ scorers have ever surpassed. Not Barkley. Not Amar’e Stoudemire. Not Booker.
And I know what you’re thinking: But what about the Suns’ second leading scorer this season? Could Deandre Ayton break it? Well, he’d have to average 118.5 points.
Looks like your record is safe Tommy.