Up until tonight, the only players to ever score 70+ points in a single game in NBA history were: Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, David Robinson, and Elgin Baylor. However, there is a new addition to that exclusive list, and it’s 20-year-old Devin Booker. Yes, you read that right; 20-year-old Devin Booker.
Devin Booker lit up the NBA’s off brand Garden and the Boston Celtics for 70 points in a 120-130 Suns loss. In the process, he joined a very short list of NBA legends to ever net 70+ points in a single game, in what is his second year in the league.
The scoring outburst was also the 11th 70-point game in NBA history.
Devin Booker, 20 years and 145 days old, became the youngest player in league history to score 60 and 70 points in one outing, surpassing David Thompson’s mark by three years and 125 days.
The young sharpshooter also dropped the NBA’s first 70-point game since Kobe Bryant scored 81 against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.
Booker also became the Suns’ franchise leader for most points scored in a single game, surpassing Tom Chambers’ 60-point mark against the Seattle Supersonics on March 24th, 1990.
Exactly 27 years later, on the same day, Devin Booker broke his record by 10 points.
Heading into halftime, Devin Booker only had 19 points. Come the second half, the young shooting guard out of Kentucky erupted for 51 points. Let that sink in. 51 points in an NBA half for someone who does not turn 21 until October.
For the game, Booker finished with 70 points, eight rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one block. He shot 52.5 percent from the field, connecting on 21-40 shots and 4-11 from deep, good enough for 36.4 percent.
Booker also got to the free throw line 26 times, connecting on 24 of them, for a 92.3 percent clip from the stripe.
This was the first 50+ point game for the Suns in 12 years since Amar’e Stoudemire’s 50 points against the Trail Blazers on January 2nd, 2005.
On March 23rd, 2016, Kobe Bryant signed a pair of his shoes for Devin Booker during his farewell tour, telling the then-rookie to, “Be Legendary.” A year and a day later, the kid did just that.
After the game, Booker went on to post a picture on Twitter with the caption, “Be Legendary,” along with an image of himself pointing up towards the sky.
In another eerie comparison, Kobe was drafted with the 13th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, while Devin Booker was taken 13th in the 2015 NBA Draft. Maybe that 13th selection can net generational legends now and then.
Coming into the draft, Booker was pegged as a great shooter. Nobody saw him developing as quickly as he did for the Suns in his rookie year, and in his sophomore campaign, he's averaging over 20 points per game at the young age of 20. Tonight was his coming out party. You will hear the name Devin Booker plenty more times over the course of the next decade. The kid is not only that talented, but one can say that he also has Kobe's blessing.
After a night of many firsts and broken records, the Phoenix Suns and Devin Booker look to close the season strong, as they continue to groom their young prospects and work to build a powerhouse that can very well take over the NBA within the next decade.
Catch all 70 of Devin Booker's points on this historic night: