Imagine what Kentucky would be doing to the South Region if it still had Devin Booker. Booker dropped 70 points on the Celtics during Friday’s matchup, although the Suns still managed to lose 128-118.
That makes Booker, a 20-year-old who could be a junior at Kentucky if he stayed in school, the youngest player to ever drop 70 or more points in a game. No one his age had even scored 60 before Friday.
Booker is also the first of any age to score 70 since Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on the Raptors in 2006. With Bryant out of the NBA, Booker’s 70 points are the most by an active player — and by a long shot. Next up is Carmelo Anthony, who had 62 points back in 2014.
How did Kentucky go 38-1 with this guy coming off the bench??
Devin Booker: 70 points vs 11th-ranked defense (47-26 BOS team).
Kobe Bryant: 81 points vs 29th-ranked defense (14-27 TOR team).
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) March 25, 2017
Although Booker fell shy of Kobe and, of course, Wilt Chamberlain among a few others, he passed Michael Jordan (69 points) and Pete Maravich (68 points) to tie for the 10th-highest single game scoring output in NBA history.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say maybe Booker could beat LaVar Ball in one-on-one.
Players with 70-pt games in NBA history: Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, Elgin Baylor & now Devin Booker
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 25, 2017
Even more amazing, Booker scored his points extremely efficiently. He shot 21-for-40 from the field with four three’s. He also made 24 free throws on 26 attempts.
And no, Booker wasn’t totally chucking everything. He also had 6 assists.
That’s enough to get the attention of another young Western Conference star, Portland’s Damian Lillard.
That boy D Booker just got 70 ?… ????
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) March 25, 2017
Sounds like a perfect storm for the Suns. Get the fan base hyped with a young player’s electric performance, but still lose to stay in the running for the No. 2 slot in the lottery.
That’s how you get a team that’s this happy after losing by double digits.
— Jay Gaspar (@PHXJGaspar) March 25, 2017
Despite dropping 70, Booker was -6 in the box score. Jared Dudley had 6 points and was +14.