When it was over, after Devin Booker had scored the last of his franchise-record 70 points, Suns veteran Tyson Chandler found his teammate on the court and embraced him.
“I was proud of him at 50, but Jesus, 70?” Chandler said, recalling his thoughts on the court. “I told him, I said, ‘Listen, you’re 20 years old and you had your name being chanted in the Garden. You turned the Garden around.”’
The Suns are in a free fall. Counting Friday’s 130-120 loss to the Celtics at TD Garden, they have lost seven in row. Most fans are more interested in the draft lottery than this season’s final few weeks. For one night, however, Booker lassoed their attention once more.
In front of 18,624 fans, Booker became the sixth player in league history to score at least 70 points in a game, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson. At 20 years and 145 days, he also became the third youngest to record a 50-point game, behind Brandon Jennings and LeBron James.
“You’re in the gym alone,” Booker said. “You’re taking shots. You’re making them consecutively. That’s what it starting feeling like for me. I felt comfortable (like) I was in my home gym, training. It started getting easier and easier.”
Just a few days ago, Booker was in a slump. Entering Thursday’s loss at Brooklyn, while battling ankle soreness, he had made just 13 of 55 over three games. Against the Celtics, Booker looked more like himself. Once he got rolling, he didn’t stop. He hit a bank shot in transition. He canned a jumper and was fouled. He scored in the post.
Overall, Booker sank 21 of 40 from the field and 24 of 26 from the foul line. He had 19 points at halftime and a career-high 42 through three before exploding for 28 in the fourth.
Shootaround (March 25) — Devin Booker’s historic night that he, teammates won’t soon forget – NBA.com