(Reuters) – Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker became the unlikeliest member of an elite scoring club when he erupted for 70 points on Friday against the Boston Celtics.
Just the sixth NBA player to ever reach the scoring mark, Booker joins hallowed players Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Thompson, Elgin Baylor and David Robinson.
It was an astounding performance from Booker, a 20-year-old second-year player, and one few could predict coming.
“It’s a night I’m going to remember the rest of my life,” Booker told reporters.
Phoenix (22-51) fell to Boston 130-120 but Booker stole the limelight with his shooting.
“It’s a zone. It’s kind of hard to explain. I’ve been in those zones before, but never to this extent.”
Booker, averaging 20.9 points per game entering the night, had never scored as many as 40 points before lighting up the scoreboard Friday.
He made 21 of 40 field goal attempts for the game and tallied 51 points in the second half. Phoenix called late timeouts to give him more shots and the Boston crowd cheered as his total climbed.
“That meant a lot (to be cheered), especially here in Boston. I know how rowdy they can be on opponents sometimes. I respect that.”
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)