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Devin Booker morphs into John Wick when facing the Sixers

One of the league’s best scorers becomes a bit more technically lethal with the way he goes about his business... almost like they killed his dog.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Phoenix Suns Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Hello local valley movie theater chains, I am not currently promoting any of you but I’d be happy to give you some love. Let me promote an offer code or something, I beg of you. Anyway, here’s movies in basketball:

Phoenix Suns star guard Devin Booker is a total menace against the Philadelphia 76ers, winning seven of his last eight meetings and putting up gaudy numbers in just about every single one.

Now, I’ve never (from what I can remember, at least) tied movies into ball before, which is a shame, because I’m a big movie-obsessed nerd. The devil’s advocate in the situation would say there’s never been an opportunity like this to draw comparisons: Booker is once again a calculated assassin against one of his old enemies on the same weekend that the next “John Wick” movie is released.

I mentioned earlier that Booker is 7-1 against the Sixers over his last eight games, but the individual dominance dates even further back, but it didn’t start out that way. After Saturday’s win, Booker’s matched up with Philly 16 different times, averaging just 16.0 points over the first four occasions, during his first two seasons in the NBA.

Starting with a 46-point game — which would’ve been a new career high if not for the 70-point game nine months earlier — with crazy shot after crazy shot down the stretch, Booker scored at least 35 in eight of the last 12 meetings.

Just listen to the way former Sixer and current mainstream-basketball-media-savior JJ Redick talks about the types of shots Booker was hitting down the stretch of that 46-point game. It sounds exactly like a “John Wick” bad guy that’s out of answers against an unstoppable force.

Another one of the key moments for me in this matchup goes back to Nov. 4, 2019, nearly three and a half years ago. It was a 114-109 victory for the Suns that moved them up to 5-2 early in the first season of the Monty Williams era, just months ahead of the bubble stoppage.

By this point in his career, most of us knew that Booker was on at-the-very-least an All-Star trajectory (his first All-Star game came later that season as an injury replacement for Damian Lillard), but maybe we didn’t know he had franchise GOAT potential like he does now.

That night in November, Booker showed people who he really was with 40 points on 15-19 shooting in just 32 minutes. Out of the 116 times a player scored 40 points in the NBA that season, Booker’s was one of three to come on fewer than 20 shots. There were only six games where a player reached 40 in under 32 minutes, as well. That’s cream of the crop-level scoring from number 1.

That rude awakening from late in last decade may have helped awaken a beast, if not for the rest of the NBA, then at least for the good city of Philadelphia. It feels like a bad guy being dumb enough to kill John Wick’s dog:

That brings us to Saturday night, a 29-point, 5-assist clinic in 32 minutes by Booker on 9-18 shooting. Booker was knifing at the defense the way John Wick disposes of mobsters. He must’ve taken the ref conversation seriously as well, because he seemed to be making more of an effort to drive at the rim.

I’m just really glad I have a basketball player I get to watch often that gives me the kind of thrill that a high-octane action movie franchise gives me. I’m also pumped for what it looks like once Kevin Durant is back at his side as we inch closer to the playoffs with just eight (!!!!) games remaining in the regular season.

We’ve already seen Boban Marjanovic make a cameo in a John Wick movie, but what would a cameo look like where Booker and Durant are at Wick’s side, picking defenders mobsters off one by one?

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