PHOENIX SUNS

Devin Booker scores franchise-record 70 points in loss to Celtics

Mar 24, 2017, 7:38 PM | Updated: Mar 25, 2017, 1:18 am

At one moment in the Phoenix Suns’ 130-120 loss to the Boston Celtics, the Boston crowd began to boo after the referees ruled Devin Booker’s three-point shot would not count.

That, among many other things, was a sign that history was happening in Boston.

Booker scored a franchise-record 70 points, obliterating his previous career-high of 39, a mark he reached after three quarters.

The game shifted quickly in the fourth quarter from a player buffing up his numbers on the team everyone knew was going to come out with a loss to a spectacle that everyone watching had to put everything else on pause for to fully appreciate the moment.

The Boston crowd began to “ooh!” at everything Booker was doing in the quarter before emphatically reacting to every miss or make by the 20-year-old in the last few minutes.

“This doesn’t happen very often especially against a really good defensive team like the Boston Celtics,” Booker said. “It’s a zone. It’s kind of hard to explain. I’ve been in those zones before, but never to this extent.”

Booker’s 70-point performance is the 11th in NBA history and the first since Kobe Bryant scored 81 on the Raptors in 2006. He’s the sixth player in NBA history to reach the mark.

No player under the age of 21 had ever scored more than 56 points prior to Booker’s explosion.

After the game, Booker joined Fox Sports Arizona’s postgame show to discuss the remarkable feat.

“Doing it here in Boston, with some of the best fans in the NBA, it was a great moment for me,” Booker said.

Twitter was in pandemonium, with many basketball fans swapping over from the hyped-up Sweet 16 matchup between UCLA and Kentucky to see how many points Booker would end up with.

He was consistently scoring over the course of the game, putting up 10 of the team’s 16 points in the first quarter. He would score 32 points in the next two quarters combined and then 28 in the final period.

This was not just a selfish effort of chasing points, by the way.

Booker had eight rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block in addition to his 70, playing 45 minutes on the night. He took 40 field goal attempts, going 24-of-26 from the free-throw line. The most remarkable stat may be Booker reaching 70 with only four three-point field goals.

There was controversy, however, after head coach Earl Watson called timeouts and fouled when the game was essentially over in order to give Booker more time and rest.

Watson said it was about letting his young players be great.

Booker put more of an emphasis on what the moment meant for the team going through a rough season.

He also said he understands where some of the frustration is coming from.

Former Sun Isaiah Thomas also spoke on Watson’s moves late.

“It was weird what they were doing,” Thomas said. “I’ve never seen anything like that. It is what it is. … But I mean it was obvious what they were trying to do. They were trying to get him the most points possible. Hats off to him. He played a hell of a game.”

Booker did everything he could to give the Suns a win, but at the end of the day, a shorthanded roster against one of the best teams in the league was going to struggle mightily picking up a win on the road to snap the losing streak.

He emphasized that after the game when asked what’s next.

“Start winning, but playing a really good team, a playoff team like the Boston Celtics, it’s tough sometimes,” Booker said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Phoenix Suns

Tyler Kolek...

Arizona Sports

NBA Draft prospect, potential Suns target Tyler Kolek visits the Valley

Tyler Kolek, a guard from Marquette and potential first-rounder, has been linked to the Suns and added more fuel to the fire on Tuesday.

4 hours ago

Bronny James of the USC Trojans...

Kevin Zimmerman

Bronny James rumors further attach to the Suns a week from the NBA Draft

Bronny James will reportedly work out for the Suns again. But there's a lot more noise around him and Phoenix's NBA team.

5 hours ago

Bronny James...

Arizona Sports

Report: Suns to host 2nd workout with NBA Draft prospect Bronny James

The Phoenix Suns will host a second pre-draft workout with USC prospect Bronny James this week, ESPN analyst Jonathan Givony reported. 

7 hours ago

Tyler Kolek #11 of the Marquette Golden Eagles shoots a free throw in the first half of the game ag...

Kellan Olson

22 for 22: Is Tyler Kolek the right PG for Suns in 2024 NBA Draft?

The overarching storyline of the Phoenix Suns' offseason is they need a point guard. But is Tyler Kolek the right fit?

10 hours ago

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is defended by P.J. Washington #25 of the D...

Kellan Olson

One big offseason question for each Suns competitor in the Western Conference

The Phoenix Suns' fellow contenders in the Western Conference all have offseason options. Here's a preview as we look to 2024-25.

15 hours ago

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum celebrates after scoring during the first half of Game 5 of the NBA ba...

Associated Press

Celtics win 18th NBA championship with Game 5 victory over Mavericks

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics topped the Mavericks to break tie with Lakers for most titles.

1 day ago

Devin Booker scores franchise-record 70 points in loss to Celtics